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Instagram bans all content promoting conversion therapy

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(AP Photo/Jenny Kane)

Instagram will ban all content that promotes conversion therapy after activists called on it to block providers form advertising their services online.

The social media platform, which is owned by Facebook, told CNN on Friday about expanding its existing policies on hate speech worldwide to include posts that advertise or promote the practice.

Conversion therapy is a pseudo-scientific process that claims to change a person’s sexuality. It is condemned as harmful by medical associations. Studies show that those subjected to it, or who choose to undergo it, are put at a greater risk of depression and suicide.

Earlier this year, Instagram banned advertisements for the process. Now, it will also stop recommending content related to conversion therapy, such as testimonials to its efficacy or posts in praise of or in support of the practice, except those in a legislative context.

A number of US states have banned conversion therapy, and Germany became one of the first major countries to outlaw it for minors in May.

In the United Kingdom, a total ban promised by Theresa May in mid-2018 has yet to materialize.

Facebook and Twitter did not immediately respond to questions about their policies.