Instagram Bans All “Conversion Therapy” Content

The move highlights the fact that the dangerous practice is still legal in many parts of the world

If you're seeking conversion therapy content, you won't find it on Instagram.
Igor Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
By Kayla Kibbe / July 10, 2020 12:42 pm

Instagram has announced that it will block all content promoting LGBTQ+ “conversion therapy,” a harmful psychological practice that attempts to “convert” members of the LGBTQ+ community to heterosexuality.

Effective Friday, Instagram told BBC News it will ban all content linked to or promoting the practice. “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, Instagram’s EMEA public policy director, told BBC News. “We are always reviewing our policies and will continue to consult with experts and people with personal experiences to inform our approach.”

The move comes months after Instagram blocked the promotion of conversion therapy in ads on the platform. Instagram will now be extending that policy to all content, though the platform has advised it will take time to fully implement the ban. According to BBC, Instagram has stressed that change will take time, and not all content reported by users will be removed immediately.

Instagram’s action against conversion therapy comes as activists in the United Kingdom fight for the practice to be outlawed in the country. Two years after former prime minister Theresa May vowed to outlaw the practice in 2018, various forms of conversion therapy remain legal in the UK, an ongoing issue Instagram’s recent move has highlighted.

Unfortunately, it’s not just the UK’s problem. According to Forbes, conversion therapy is only illegal in five countries and 18 states in the US.

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