Will banning weight loss advertisements really help fight this growing toxicity online?
Pinterest, a worldwide platform with 478 million active users, has decided to ban weight loss ads as they have observed eating disorders are rising in alarmingly in the middle of the pandemic. The banning of weight loss ads does not only revolve around language and imagery, but also those that promote certain body types.
Differentiating from toxicity, ads that promotes healthy lifestyles or fitness services as well as products are still valid to run on the platform, with a condition that these won't focus on weight loss. This adopted policy of Pinterest were guided by the National Eating Disorder Association.
Pinterest's priority is the health of their Pinners, which are teenagers in majority. With the newest initiative of Pinterest, all unrealistic weight loss ads or appetite suppressant pills are now banned from the site, leading to a safer place for their users and mental health too.
This new policy promotes self-love and body acceptance as the main thought behind this was that "everyone deserves to be happy in their skin regardless of their body's weight and color", something very much needed in our world today. Numerous places are now lifting lockdowns, making people become conscious and insecure about their body sizes and can no longer step outside comfortably. With this, some have subjected themselves to unhealthy weight loss programs, which aren't wonderful at all.
Banning advertisement may surprise a lot of people because of its risk, but despite being a big company, this is not the first time Pinterest doing so.
In 2019, Pinterest was known as the first social media platform to ban anti-vaccination propaganda and back in 2018 they have removed all content that included political stances, and they have been always trying their best to minimize hate speech on their platform. Since day 1, Pinterest has been selective to the advertisements that will run around their site.
What can you say about Pinterest's latest policy? Efforts and steps in changing the world, small or big, will still contribute in the later run, don't you think?