by Kevin Coupe

I was glad to see a piece in Fast Company about how social media site Instagram is trying in some cases to reduce the influence of so-called influencers … starting with making the decision to "restrict users under the age of 18 from seeing posts that promote select weight-loss products and cosmetic surgery procedures," as well as banning "some types of ads that promote unrealistic 'get thin quick' products entirely."

According to the story, "Posts do not need to be from the product’s account to be eligible for the ban. Any influencer who, for example, shows a sachet of 'weight loss' tea in a post and urges their followers to buy it would find that post will not be shown to under-18’s."

Emma Collins, Instagram’s public policy manager, tells Fast Company, "We want Instagram to be a positive place for everyone that uses it, and this policy is part of our ongoing work to reduce the pressure that people can sometimes feel as a result of social media."

Any of us with kids - especially daughters - know that this kind of stuff on social media can be enormously destructive; they don't know enough of have the confidence to realize that a lot of the people putting this crap online are being compensated to do so, that their roles as influencers have nothing to do with any level of expertise. So it is up to adults to help, to be accountable and culpable.

Let's be clear. This is a baby step in a long march to make social media more responsible. But baby steps at least are a beginning, and an Eye-Opener.