Instagram Bans All Content Promoting LGBT Conversion Therapy

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Elana Lyn Gross   Forbes U.S. Staff

Instagram Bans All Content Promoting LGBT Conversion Therapy

Photo: alex bracken/ Unsplash

Instagram banned ads for LGBT conversion therapy earlier this year and, starting Friday, they are taking it one step further by banning all content about conversion therapy — the decision comes as concerns about parent company Facebook’s handling of hate speech, misinformation and civil rights continue to gain momentum. 


- In June, civil rights groups including the NAACP and the Anti-Defamation League launched #StopHateForProfit to ask large companies to “act against hate and disinformation being spread by Facebook” by pausing advertising on Facebook and Instagram — more than 900 companies have joined. 

- On Tuesday Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg said the company “has to get better at finding and removing hateful content.”

- On Friday Instagram’s EMEA public policy director Tara Hopkins announced that the platform will ban all content about LGBT conversion therapy, telling the BCC, "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.”

- Hopkins explained that the team frequently reviews Instagram’s policies and that they “will continue to consult with experts and people with personal experiences to inform our approach.”

- The company said it will take time to update all of its policies to reflect the ban that starts Friday so some content that users flag may not be removed immediately. 

- Instagram also recently updated its Community Guidelines to “protect people from harmful content and new types of abuse related to COVID-19.”


Instagram’s decision follows a petition to make LGBT conversion therapy illegal in the U.K. — at the end of May, Parliament agreed to consider it for debate. 


Instagram’s Community Guidelines have been criticized in the past, the decision to remove some photos of female nipples was a catalyst for the #FreeTheNipple campaign. “Photos of post-mastectomy scarring and women actively breastfeeding are allowed,” according to the current Community Guidelines. “Nudity in photos of paintings and sculptures is OK, too.”


1 billion. Instagram had that many monthly active users in 2020, according to Statista data.

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Elana Lyn Gross   Forbes U.S. Staff

I'm a breaking news reporter at Forbes and the author of What Next?: Your Five-Year Plan for Life After College published by the Simon & Schuster imprint Adams Media. I have a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University and live on the Upper West Side.