Instagram plans to block posts promoting cosmetic procedures from teens

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Instagram says it plans to block users under 18 years old from seeing posts that promote the use of certain weight-loss products or cosmetic procedures. 

Instagram says the policy is part of its ongoing work to reduce the pressure that people can sometimes feel because of social media.

Psychologist Dr. Nicholas Kardaras says the plan is a good start to improve the impact of social media on teens’ mental health.

“In this digital age, social media can shape a young person's identity. If you're bombarding them with these really distorted sense of beauty or imagery, you're going to have people do extreme weight loss, extreme plastic surgery, extreme body disfigurement often times,” he says.

Teens from Northport High School say celebrities and influencers promoting weight loss and other products flood their Instagram feeds. One 17-year-old student says she thinks the change will be effective.

"I honestly do appreciate it, because we're still young and everyone is influenced so easily," she told News 12. "You see one thing and then you see everyone doing it, and it's hard because you think now I need to do it and look like this…I think it will help."

Instagram says over the coming weeks it will also roll out a feature to allow users to report a post within the app if they believe it violates this policy.

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