Instagram said on Friday it would block content that promotes so-called conversion therapy, which aims to alter a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity, as pressure to ban the practice grows, according to Reuters.
The social media giant announced earlier this year it would no longer allow adverts for conversion therapy services, which can range from counselling and “praying away the gay” to electric shocks and sexual violence.
“We don’t allow attacks against people based on sexual orientation or gender identity,” Tara Hopkins, Instagram’s public policy director for Europe, Middle East and Africa said in an emailed statement.
“(We) are updating our policies to ban the promotion of conversion therapy services.”
A spokesman for Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, said it would take time to update all policies and content flagged by users may not be removed immediately.The United Nations independent expert on sexual orientation and gender identity called last month for a global ban on conversion therapy, describing it as “cruel, inhumane and degrading”.
A growing number of countries – including the United States, Canada, Chile and Mexico – are reviewing their laws. Brazil, Ecuador and Malta have nationwide bans on conversion therapy, while Germany outlawed the treatment for minors in May.
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