Instagram users can now filter out advertisements on a variety of topics, including weight loss programs.
The Instagram app didn’t make any direct statements about weight loss or body image, but the company did update its sensitive content control feature, allowing users to choose to limit the appearance of potentially explicit content and the accounts that may appear in their Search, Reels, Hashtag Pages, and In-Feed Recommendations.
Instagram faced a body image issue after a whistleblower released documents showing the company knew Instagram caused mental health problems among young users, especially due to weight and body image. Instagram, then, answered this concern by installing safety features such as a notification if the user was on their phone for too long.
Instagram influencers such as Katie Budenberg suggested that the social media giant stop giving its users weight loss ads, noting that Instagram already bans them in response to pressure on alcohol.
“It’s no secret that weight-loss ads are made to make you feel inadequate in your body in order to get you to pay the company large sums of money to lose weight,” Budenberg stated in her change.org petition. “Some people may feel this ads are harmless, but for others, these ads can trigger unpleasant thoughts and be dangerous.”
There are more than 30,000 people on the petition.
Budenberg explained how to filter out the weight loss ads on her change.org petition. Click on your profile and choose settings. Go to “ads” and click on “ad topics.” Look for topics you find triggering, such as “body weight control.” Click on the topic and click on “see less.”