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Facebook, Instagram ban contents promoting conversion ‘therapy’

Facebook and Instagram (which is owned by Facebook) will reportedly start banning any content that promotes the so-called “conversion therapy”.

Photo by @screenpost from Unsplash.com

Long time coming.

Facebook and Instagram (which is owned by Facebook) will reportedly start banning any content that promotes the so-called “conversion therapy”.

“Conversion therapy” is the most widely-used term used to describe practices attempting to change, suppress or divert one’s sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. It is also called reorientation therapy, reparative therapy, reintegrative therapy, or, more recently, support for unwanted same-sex attraction or transgender identities.

Medical associations are critical of this practice – e.g. the World Psychiatric Association criticized these as “wholly unethical,” and the Pan American Health Organization warned that they pose “a serious threat to the health and well-being of affected people.”

As reported, Facebook is expanding its existing policies on hate speech worldwide to include posts that advertise or promote the practice.

This actually comes at the heels of appeals from users to remove an Instagram account used by Core Issues Trust, a UK-based promoter of conversion therapy.

In a statement related to the appeals, Tara Hopkins, Instagram’s public policy director for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said in a statement: “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. We have removed violating content from @coreissuestrusttv. We are always reviewing our policies and will continue to consult with experts and people with personal experiences to inform our approach.”

The platform will similarly stop recommending content related to conversion therapy, including testimonials to its supposed efficacy, or posts in praise of or in support of the practice.

In case info re “conversion therapy” shows in your newsfeed, it may be because it’s from a “legislative context”, which remains allowed.

Earlier in 2020, Instagram banned advertisements for the process.

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