Instagram has vowed to ban any content that promotes LGBT+ ‘conversion therapy’.
Earlier this year, the social media giant banned advertisements that promoted the so-called LGBT+ ‘cures’. But from today (10 July) it will also outlaw content that advocates the ‘therapies’.
Tara Hopkins, a public policy director at Instagram told the BBC:
‘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 are always reviewing our policies and will continue to consult with experts and people with personal experiences to inform our approach.
However the company warns it will take time to update all of its policies to reflect this blanket ban. That means it may take some time for it to remove content that users flag. But that should change over time.
Of course, the policies don’t always work in practice either. Facebook owns Instagram and also bans LGBT+ violent hate.
But as GSN again uncovered last week, Facebook still allows some content advocating the murder of LGBT+ people to remain even after users report it.
Is the tide finally turning against dangerous LGBT+ ‘cures’?
Instagram’s decision comes in the same week as the UN has said forced ‘conversion therapy’ amounts to torture.
Meanwhile a new report out this week finds that LGBT+ youths who have undergone the ‘cures’ are more than twice as likely to attempt suicide.
All the world’s leading health, psychiatric and psychological organizations condemn ‘conversion therapy’ as futile and dangerous.
However, it still remains legal in most of the world.
So far only Malta, Ecuador, Brazil, Taiwan and Germany have banned ‘conversion therapy’ in law.
But there are signs legislators are starting to take action. Indeed, international LGBT+ organization ILGA World predicted 2020 could be a breakthrough year on the issue worldwide.
The Netherlands, UK, Ireland, Canada, Australia and Chile are among countries considering a legal ban.
There are already bans in 20 US states: New Jersey, California, Oregon, Illinois, Vermont, New Mexico, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Nevada, Washington, Hawaii, Delaware, Maryland, New Hampshire, New York, Massachusetts, Maine, Colorado, Utah and Virginia as well as Washington DC and Puerto Rico.
Moreover, Joe Biden, the Democratic nominee for the presidency, has promised he will ban the ‘therapies’ if he gets to the White House.
Furthermore, last month one of the largest organizations guilty of the ‘cures’ in the US announced it was closing.
Help is out there
If ‘conversion therapy’ or poor your mental health affect you, help is out there. You can find a list of LGBT+ resources and helplines all around the world here. Please note, some of the helplines may have different operating hours during the coronavirus pandemic.