Instagram announced a new ban on all types of content, including posts and videos, on Thursday to promote the widely discredited practice of conversion therapy that is trying to violently change a person’s sexual orientation. The news was first reported today by CNN.
A spokesman for the parent company Facebook tells The VThis recent amendment to the guidelines is an extension of an earlier rule that specifically bans ads promoting the practice that was introduced earlier this year, and that the directive now includes a ban on content that directly promotes practice. The spokesman confirmed that the ban applies to both Instagram and the company̵
“We do not allow attacks on people based on sexual orientation or gender identity and are updating our policies to ban the promotion of conversion therapy services,” said Tara Hopkins, director of public policy for Instagram for Europe, the Middle East and Africa statement CNN in response to conversion therapy content advertised by a British religious group called the Core Issues Trust. “We have removed infringing content from @coreissuestrusttv. We are constantly reviewing our policies and will continue to consult experts and individuals with personal experience to share our approach. ”
Conversion therapy is prohibited in one form or another in at least 19 U.S. states, in most cases to protect minors. In the United States, however, it is still legal at the federal level and allowed in much of Europe and elsewhere in the world. It is often treated as a pseudo-science by religious organizations without factual basis, and studies show that it has direct connections to higher rates of depression, drug use, homelessness, and suicide among young adults, many of whom are affected without their consent.
According to Instagram, the ban applies worldwide as part of an expansion of its global hate speech guidelines. Only Germany has a law in the books that prohibits the practice for minors. The ban on conversion therapy through Facebook and Instagram should help close organizations in Africa, Europe, the United States and other regions that are trying to promote or promote the practice online.