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Instagram to Block Posts about Cosmetic Procedures and Weight Loss Products

Instagram will block anyone under the age of 18 from seeing posts that promote weight loss products or types of cosmetic surgery. The decision comes as a part of a new policy that targets a rapidly growing and controversial sect of influencer marketing. In some cases, whole posts can be removed as well.

Instagram will apply the age restriction in cases where posts include an incentive to buy or are accompanied by a price for a product. The company will remove posts entirely if it “makes a miraculous claim about certain diet or weight loss products and is linked to a commercial offer such as a discount code.”

According to a statement from the company, Instagram’s advertising guidelines and policies never allowed for the promotion of these products, but recent growth among influencers and celebrities has prompted additional action. The policy will affect both Instagram and Facebook.

The updated policy is part of Instagram’s work to make the platform “a positive place for everyone” and to “reduce the pressure that people can sometimes feel as a result of social media,” Instagram’s public policy manager, Emma Collins, said in a press release.

For promoting weight loss products, many influencers like Kim and Khloe Kardashian and Kylie Jenner have long drawn criticism from critics, including actress Jameela Jamil. One of Jamil’s tweets about influencers on Instagram selling these products, which are potentially harmful to young buyers and oftentimes don’t work, went viral in November 2018. Jamil worked with Instagram and other experts to bring changes to the platform, according to a statement.