Facebook and Instagram have banned all posts that promote the dangerous and debunked practice of conversion therapy, reported CNN.
On Thursday (July 9), a spokesperson for Facebook confirmed the company’s hate speech policy had been updated to include the promotion of conversion therapy, a pseudo-science to “convert” LGBTQ people to straight and cisgender that is opposed by major medical organizations like the American Medical Association. The new policy also applies to Instagram, which Facebook bought in 2012.
“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,” Tara Hopkins, Instagram’s public policy director for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, told CNN.
The platforms will also not longer recommend any content related to conversion therapy, such as positive testimonials and praise, except for those in a legislative context.
The Trevor Project, an organization fighting to prevent suicides among LGBTQ youth, praised the ban.
“Conversion therapy is dangerous and widely discredited, and The Trevor Project is pleased to see Facebook and Instagram take action against its promotion on social media,” Sam Brinton, the vice president of advocacy and government affair at The Trevor Project, told them. “[LGBTQ] youth deserve love and support—they should never be exposed to this fraudulent practice.”
According to the Williams Institute, nearly 700,000 LGBTQ people have undergone conversion therapy. The practice has been banned in 19 states, with Utah becoming the latest to outlaw it. Georgia does not ban conversion therapy.