Instagram Bans Content Promoting Conversion Therapy

The social media platform will block all content endorsing LGBTQ+ conversion therapy.

Instagram will now block all content promoting conversion therapy on their site, the Facebook-owned social media conglomerate told the BBC on Friday.

The move comes as celebrities and LGBTQ+ organizations across the UK are calling for a nationwide ban on the practice.

Elton John, Dua Lipa, Munroe Bergdorf, Stephen Frye, Alan Cumming, Russell T. Davies, and others have signed an open letter addressed to Liz Truss, the Minister for Women and Equalities, urging the government to ban the “torture.”

While the Government Equalities Office launched a plan of action to ban conversion therapy in the UK back in July 2018, the practice is still legal today.

Conversion therapy is a harmful and ineffective practice that aims to change one’s sexual orientation or gender identity through electric shock treatments, hypnosis, prayer, and physically painful stimuli.

Many LGBTQ+ youth and adults who undergo conversion therapy are at an increased risk of depression and suicide.

Instagram had previously banned advertisements related to conversion therapy across the platform earlier this year.

Now, however, all content promoting the harmful practice will be banned, and the social media giant will update its user policies to reflect this new rule.

“We don’t allow attacks against people based on sexual orientation or gender identity and are updating our policies to ban the promotion of conversion therapy services,” Tara Hopkins, the EMEA public policy director of Instagram, told the BBC.

“We are always reviewing our policies and will continue to consult with experts and people with personal experiences to inform our approach.”

Freelance writer covering culture, politics, and LGBTQ+ rights. catherineann.caruso@gmail.com

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