Alcohol, tobacco, e-cigarettes to be restricted on Instagram, Facebook

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New Delhi | Published: July 25, 2019 7:28:01 PM

Facebook is clamping down on the content promoting alcohol, drugs, tobacco, and more

Facebook is unveiling a new policy to restrict sales and restrict content on tobacco products and alcohol, including e-cigarettes, a company spokeswoman was quoted by a report in CNN.

The new policy is reportedly aimed at prohibiting all the private trades, sales, transfers and gifting of alcohol and tobacco products on Mark Zuckerberg-led Facebook and Instagram.

As per the new policy, any brands which post content on sale or transfer of the said products will have to make a restriction on the content – for adults 18 or older.

The new policy, implemented on Wednesday, will also go into effect for Facebook groups which sell alcohol and tobacco products, as per the spokeswoman quoted in a CNN report. The social network giant is also reaching out to group administrators to tell them of the new changes.

Facebook is implementing the new rules and may crackdown on any groups which do not adhere to the new policy. Although the policies already disallow the sale of alcohol and tobacco in the fairly new Facebook Marketplace, the platform is also extending this ban to “organic content” which can be described as regular posts from private users.

How Facebook policy will be enforced?

As per the spokeswoman, a combination of human review, technology and reports from the community members will be used to enforce the policy. However, Facebook and Instagram users, including those under 18, are allowed to post other content related to vape and tobacco products.

The influencers on Instagram and Facebook who are doing paid promotions of nicotine products will be free to post content on tobacco and vape-related products. However, it must be noted that those posts will not have to be age-restricted.

Moreover, the spokeswoman has hinted at possible changes to the influencer policy and is working on developing industry and regulatory bodies on potential changes.

The new policy comes after Juul, which is the largest vape manufacturer in America” came under fire for allegedly promoting teen vaping and is testifying its role in the “Youth Nicotine Epidemic.” However, the company has clarified that the new policy on alcohol and tobacco-related content has not been introduced as a response to it.

This is not the only change Facebook has introduced in recent times. Earlier, the social media giant has also restricted sexual content and cracked down heavily on what could be termed as hate speech and backlash due to its inability to curb fake news and date and privacy breaches.

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