New Instagram feature lets users block weight loss ads

Instagram updated its sensitive content control feature on June 6, and users can now filter out weight loss-related ads on their newsfeeds.

The update expands on functionality introduced by Instagram last summer by allowing users to filter content on more than just their Explore page.

“In addition to Explore, you will now be able to control how much sensitive content and accounts you see in search, reels, accounts you might follow, hashtag pages, and in-feed recommendations,” wrote the company in its press release.

The “body weight control” topic is the latest to be included in the list of filterable topics from users’ daily feeds. Other social media apps have made similar decisions in recent years. TikTok banned fasting app ads and restricted ads promoting “negative body image” in 2020.

It’s unclear whether Instagram was following TikTok’s lead or made its changes following a petition created by gender-neutral influencer Katie Budenberg.

Last year, Budenberg started a petition to encourage Instagram to include a filter option for weight loss ads in its sensitive content review feature. In the description of the petition, she wrote, “For some, these ads may be harmless and they may scroll, but for some, these ads are triggering and dangerous.”

The petition received over 30,000 followers and less than a year later Instagram updated the feature. In a post on the app, Budenberg shared a graphic notifying his followers of the change and listing steps to filter out weight loss content on their newsfeeds.

“I don’t know if it was us, I don’t know if Instagram just came to their senses, but most importantly – WE CAN NOW ASK NOT TO SEE ANY WEIGHT LOSS ADS,” he said. she writes in her caption.

If this is a change you want to appear on your personal Instagram account, here are the steps to follow:

  1. Go to your profile
  2. Choose the menu icon in the upper right corner
  3. Click Settings
  4. Tap Ads
  5. Access to advertising sections
  6. In the “Search in all topics” toolbar, search for “body weight control”
  7. Click on the subject
  8. Select “see less”

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