If you follow any of the Kar/Jenner clan or any variety of C-list reality stars on social media you’ve no doubt seen any number of sponsored posts for diet products. From flat tummy tea to appetite-suppressing lollipops to corsets designed to give you an hourglass figure, sponsored posts from the diet industry are big business. That business just took an even bigger hit because Instagram just introduced a new policy that will block sponsored posts promoting cosmetic surgery and diet products from users under the age of 18.
Posts promising miracle results will also be removed completely from the image-sharing platform. Instagram’s Public Policy Manager Emma Collins spoke to The Standard about the company’s new changes. “It’s not in the interest of the broader community to be exposed to this kind of branded miracle claims. We’ve also gone a step further where young people are concerned and the action that we’re taking for under 18s is that any branded promotion of weight loss products or undertaking of cosmetic procedures will be restricted so under 18s won’t see them.”
Collins also called out the Kardashians specifically as they have often been the target of criticism for posting the ads given their typically young target audience. “If [a Kardashian’s] Instagram post is pulled into the policy of promoting diet products or procedures for sale then that post won't be available to under 18s. The Kardashians are people we continue to have collaborative conversations with, they’ll be made aware of the change."
One person who is thrilled about this new policy is actress and body-positive activist Jameela Jamil. Jamil has been openly critical of any celebrity who took money to promote these diet products on their social media, and declared Instagram’s new policy “HUGE NEWS.” Speaking about the change Jamil said, “This is a huge win for our ongoing fight against the diet and detox industry. Facebook and Instagram taking a stand to protect the physical and mental health of people online, sends an important message out to the world.
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THIS IS HUGE NEWS. @i_weigh are changing the world together. After a bunch of shouting, screaming, and petitioning... we have managed to get the attention of the people at the top, and they have heard us and want to protect us. And this is just the beginning of our efforts. As of now, if you’re under 18, you will no longer be exposed to any diet/detox products, and for all other ages; all fad products that have bogus, unrealistic claims will be taken down and easy to report. I’ve been working with Instagram all year towards this, who were amazing to deal with, and they expressed that they passionately care about creating a safer space for us all online. This happened so much faster than I expected and I’m so proud and happy and relieved. WELL DONE to the many people who have been working towards this huge change. This is a mass effort. This is an extraordinary win that is going to make a big difference. Influencers have to be more responsible. ❤️
“As someone who struggled with an eating disorder for most of my youth, I’ve personally known and suffered the perils of the devious side of the diet and detox industry. A focus of our advocacy since inception, it is a proud day for “I Weigh” and a day of hope for our generation, who deserve respect and protection from the celebrities and influencers that they follow.”
The changes have already taken effect. Buzzfeed News reporter Ryan Broderick Tweeted a picture of the new policy in action when he clicked on a sponsored post by Kim Kardashian. “Wow that was fast. This Kim Kardashian flat tummy shake post from January is now only accessible if you’re logged into Instagram and listed as over 18,” he Tweeted.
Wow that was fast. This Kim Kardashian flat tummy shake post from January is now only accessible if you're logged into Instagram and listed as over-18. pic.twitter.com/67rEv4uqpJ— Ryan Broderick (@broderick) September 18, 2019
Users will also be able to report sponsored posts they think violate Instagram’s newest policy.