Instagram posts about certain diet products and cosmetic surgery will be hidden from young users as the company responds to mounting mental health concerns.
From Wednesday, certain posts will be age restricted to prevent under 18s viewing diet and surgery-related content.
Other posts relating to the two controversial topics will simply be removed, Instagram said.
The changes follow calls from concerned users that posts of this nature can have on young people, their mental health and body image.
Instagram said that under its new rules, posts that promote the use of certain weight-loss products or cosmetic procedures that have an incentive to buy, or include a price, will be hidden from users known to be under 18.
In addition, the platform said any content which makes a “miraculous” claim about a diet or weight-loss product and is linked to a commercial offer such as a discount code will now be removed from Instagram.
The company said its advertising policies have never allowed this type of promotion.
“We want Instagram to be a positive place for everyone that uses it and this policy is part of our ongoing work to reduce the pressure that people can sometimes feel as a result of social media,” Instagram public policy manager Emma Collins said.
“We’ve sought guidance from external experts, including Dr Ysabel Gerrard in the UK, to make sure any steps to restrict and remove this content will have a positive impact on our community of over one billion people around the world – whilst ensuring Instagram remains a platform for expression and discussion.”
Likes remain hidden
The diet and surgery action is the latest initiative the company has undergone to address mental health concerns among its user base.
In July, Instagram began trialling a new layout that hides the number of ‘likes’ a photo receives, citing concerns over user elf-esteem.
That change was met with mixed responses, with some users applauding the business for taking a proactive approach while others threatened to deactivate their accounts in protest.
Individual users can still view how many likes their own posts receive but are unable to compare that with others.
– with AAP