On 6 June 2022, Instagram updated its ‘Sensitive Content Control’ feature. Included in some of the changes introduced by the social media giant is the possibility for users to filter out weight loss-related ads on their feeds—a move that many had demanded from the platform ever since members of the Kardashian family had been caught promoting weight loss products.
This update comes as an addition to the feature that Instagram introduced in the summer of 2021 which allows users to filter content on more than just their explore page. “In addition to Explore, you will now be able to control the amount of sensitive content and accounts you see in Search, Reels, Accounts You Might Follow, Hashtag Pages and In-Feed Recommendations,” the company wrote in a recent statement.
The “body weight control” topic is the latest to be included on the list of subjects that can be filtered out of users’ daily feeds. Other social media apps have made similar decisions in recent years. For example, in September 2020, TikTok banned fasting app ads and restricted advertisers from promoting “negative body image.”
While some netizens have declared this move to be a result of a petition created by body-neutral influencer, Katie Budenberg, it’s unclear if Instagram was only following TikTok’s lead.
In 2021, Budenberg launched a Change.org petition encouraging Instagram to include an option for filtering weight loss ads in its Sensitive Content Control feature. In the page’s description, she wrote, “To some, these ads may be harmless and they can scroll on but for some these ads are triggering and dangerous.”
The petition ended up receiving over 30,000 signatures, and less than a year later, Instagram updated its feature. In a post on the platform, Budenberg shared a graphic informing her followers of the change and listed steps for them to take to filter out weight loss content on their feeds.
“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 TO NOT SEE WEIGHT LOSS ADS,” she wrote in her post’s caption.
If this is a change that you’d like to implement on your Instagram account, here are the steps you can take: