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Social Media Begin to Curb Conversion Therapy

When Facebook and Instagram announced they will exclude content that promotes conversion therapy, it was a game-changer that will finally begin to remedy a problem that social media itself inadvertently created: the explosion of conversion therapy into an internet-driven industry that has caused devastating harm to LGBTQ+ people.

Born Perfect was a key stakeholder and is proud to have provided Facebook with key technical guidance to regulate harmful content.

Removing conversion therapy content drastically reduces abusive organizations’ pipeline of fraudulent activity into the homes of youths and adults alike. Read the story and our vision for social-media safety at them.us.


Born Perfect is the leading campaign to end conversion therapy. We are survivors, lawyers, and policy experts working together to protect LGBTQ+ people nationally and around the globe. Born Perfect is a program of National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR).

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Facebook, Instagram to Remove Content that Promotes Conversion Therapy

“We consulted with Facebook’s team directly on creating an algorithm to help detect advertising by conversion therapists and delete those advertisements,” said Mathew Shurka, Born Perfect co-founder and chief strategist. Now Instagram has implemented a broader ban.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 10, 2020

Contact: Christopher Vasquez
NCLR Communications Director 
cvasquez@nclrights.org / (415) 365-1337

MENLO PARK, California — Facebook and Instagram announced today that they will exclude content that promotes the harmful practice of conversion therapy – a step taken to curtail online hatred and harmful disinformation. Facebook owns Instagram.

Earlier this year, the company announced that it would no longer accept ads that promote fake “cures” for sexual orientation and gender identity. These fraudulent treatments have been shown to cause shame, depression, low self-esteem, and sometimes suicide amongst LGBTQ youth. Born Perfect worked with Facebook on this initiative.

“We consulted with Facebook’s team directly on creating an algorithm to help detect advertising by conversion therapists and delete those advertisements,” said Mathew Shurka, Born Perfect co-founder and chief strategist.

Now the official restriction applies to all content, not just ads.

“These fraudulent practitioners and organizations have exploited platforms like Instagram to prey on vulnerable LGBTQ people,” said Shurka. “Removing this harmful practice will save lives.”

Facebook explains why

“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, public policy director for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said in a statement reported by CNN. “We have removed violating content from @coreissuestrusttv. We are always reviewing our policies and will continue to consult with experts and people with personal experiences to inform our approach.”

Born Perfect calls upon other social media to follow Facebook’s example, and actively reduce harmful disinformation against LGBTQ+ people on their platforms.


Born Perfect is the leading campaign to end conversion therapy. We are survivors, lawyers, and policy experts working together to protect LGBTQ+ people nationally and around the globe. Born Perfect is a program of National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR).