TikTok has banned ads for fasting apps and weight loss supplements, and will prevent ads for other weight management products from reaching users under 18, it said today.
“These types of ads do not support the positive, inclusive, and safe experience we strive for on TikTok,” Tara Wadhwa, the company’s safety policy manager, wrote in a blog post about the new policies.
The changes come two weeks after TikTok removed a number of diet pill ads (along with ads for fake apps and other scams) discovered by cybersecurity firm Tenable. At the time, TikTok didn’t have guidelines on diet-related marketing; it removed the ads for violating established policies against “fake, fraudulent, or misleading content.”
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Now, it’s laying the groundwork to “increase restrictions on ads that promote a harmful or negative body image,” Wadhwa wrote. This involves “stronger restrictions on weight loss and implied weight loss claims” and “further restrictions to limit irresponsible claims made by products that promote weight loss management or control,” she added.
To be clear, TikTok will still accept ads for weight loss products that aren’t supplements, but it will not show those ads to users under 18. It will also not accept any ads for weight loss products or services that promote “a negative body image or negative relationship with food,” Wadhwa said.
She encouraged users who are upset or triggered by weight-related ads to mark them as “Not Interested,” and said any ads that violate the new policies should be reported for encouraging self-harm.