Facebook, Instagram Crack Down on Content, Ads Promoting Conversion Therapy

Twitter already had a similar policy in place

This banner at the Madrid LGTB Pride Parade 2019 says, "Love does not need cure, hate does." ntonioAC/iStock
Headshot of David Cohen

Facebook said late last week that it will expand its policies on hate speech to include content that advertises or promotes conversion therapy, and that move applies to Instagram, as well.

Instagram public policy director for Europe, the Middle East and Africa Tara Hopkins confirmed the update in a statement: “We don’t allow attacks against people based on sexual orientation or gender identity, and we 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.”

@coreissuestrusttv is the Instagram account of Core Issues Trust, a British Christian organization focused on homosexuality.

Ads for conversion therapy were banned on Facebook and Instagram earlier this year, and the two platforms will now no longer recommend content related to the practice, including testimonials or praise, except for content in a legislative context.

Twitter has a similar policy in place already, with a spokesperson saying, “”We enforce against calls for conversion therapy under our wishes of harm rule, and we are working to make the training decks clearer so that team members have a wide variety of examples to refer to and our enforcement of this is consistent and scalable globally.”

Conversion therapy is defined as attempts to change a person’s sexuality, and it is still legal in most parts of the world, including the U.K. and U.S., according to CNN, although some U.S. states have banned it.

Germany passed a law in May banning conversion therapy for people under 18, CNN reported.

david.cohen@adweek.com David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.