Pinterest announced that it will ban all advertisements related to weight loss from its platform to prevent content that could encourage unhealthy or disordered eating habits. The company said that it will also prohibit ads with language or images that promote or depict certain body types.
Pinterest said that there has been a steep rise in unhealthy eating habits and eating disorders in young people since the Covid-19 pandemic started last year.The policy goes into effect Thursday. As with all online content moderation policies, however, the challenge for platforms is usually not to set the rule so much as enforcing it and ensuring no one circumvents the policy.
But its new policy is intended to go further by banning all ads with weight loss language and imagery, including testimonials regarding weight loss or weight loss products and references to Body Mass Index or similar indexes. The company said it is the only major platform to prohibit such ads.They encourage others in the industry to do the same and acknowledge, once and for all, that there’s no such thing as one-size-fits-all. Ads promoting healthy lifestyles or fitness products and services will still be permitted on Pinterest, so long as they don’t focus on weight loss, the company said. Pinterest developed the policy with guidance from the National Eating Disorders Association.