Bleats

Kim K Reckons It's Fine To Flog Dodgy Diets On Insta If It Helps Free Prisoners

Even if the products are "a little off-brand."

Kim Kardashian recently went from reality TV star to IRL Elle Woods, and this year, she helped to free 17 prisoners from jail in the space of just three months. But when it comes to funding her legal work – Kardashian is happy to use her lucrative Instagram profile as a money-making machine, no matter what she has to flog.

In a recent interview  with The New York Times, Kardashian said, “If I have a paid post that comes in and I think, ‘OK, well this can fund x amount of people that are behind bars, that can help free them with simple legal fees that they just can’t afford, then that would be worth it to me, even if the post might be a little off-brand for me.”

“I really weigh out different things now than I used to,” she said. 

While it’s great to hear that Kardashian is using the profits from her paid Instagram posts to benefit those who have been incarcerated, it sounds like she’s happy to keep promoting potentially harmful products as long as it pays for her legal work.

Credit: Instagram

Earlier this year, Instagram announced a new policy that would restrict users under the age of 18 from seeing content that promotes weight loss products or cosmetic procedures. It’s a policy that was backed by actress and activist Jameela Jamil and her organisation I Weigh.

Jamil has been campaigning for restrictions and removal of harmful content on Instagram for several years now. Over the course of the last few years, she has continuously called out Kim Kardashian, amongst other celebrities, for exploiting vulnerable users by promoting get-thin-quick weight loss products and procedures.

In the wake of the backlash earlier this year, Kardashian told The New York Times “you’re gonna get backlash for almost everything so long as you like it or believe in it or it’s worth it financially, whatever your decision may be, as long as you’re OK with that.”

Credit: Instagram

There’s no denying that Kardashian is doing her best to focus on prison reform and use her power and platform to encourage positive change for those who have been incarcerated. However, funding those activities with the money earned from backing “off-brand” and controversial products on Instagram just because it’s “worth it financially” feels like it’s turning a blind eye an equally-as-relevant issue in your own backyard.

Twitter Bans Political Ads, What's Your Move Zuckerberg?

Balls in your court, Facebook.

The ball is officially in Facebook’s court after Twitter founder Jack Dorsey announced today that he’d be banning all political advertising on Twitter. 

“We’ve made the decision to stop all political advertising on Twitter globally. We believe political message reach should be earned, not bought.” he tweeted earlier this morning.

In a lengthy thread, Dorsey said that political decisions should “not be compromised by money” and that Internet political ads present challenges like “machine learning-based optimisation or messaging, micro-targeting, unchecked misleading information, and deep fakes.”

Dorsey said it’s “not credible” for Twitter to say they’re working to stop people spreading misleading information, but accept payment to target people with someone’s political ads. 

The Twitter founder said that “regulators need to think past the present pay to ensure a level playing field.” In a final note, Dorsey said Twitter’s move to ban political ads isn’t about free expression, “it’s about paying for reach.”

“Paying to increase the reach of political speech has significant ramifications that today’s democratic infrastructure may not be prepared to handle,” he wrote.

While Dorsey added there would be a few exceptions, including the allowance of “ads in support of voter registration,” it’s a big move for Twitter – especially considering the 2020 United States presidential election kicks off in less than a week

Twitter’s ban on political ads also comes one week after Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg was grilled by congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez over the social media platform’s political advertising policies. 

During her line of questioning, AOC asked Zuckerberg, “so you won’t take down lies, or you will take down lies? It’s a pretty simple yes or no.” 

Zuckerberg told the congresswoman it “depended on the context” and during Facebook’s Q3 2019 earnings call today he said he doesn’t agree with “critics” who claim the company won’t ban ads because “all we care about is money.” 

“We need to be careful about adopting more rules that can restrict what people can say,” he said. “I don’t think it’s right for politicians to be censored.” 

Twitter isn’t the first big player to take the lead in banning political ads. This month, Google banned political advertising in Canada ahead of the country’s election and video sharing platform TikTok put an end to political ads as well. 

Looks like it’s your move, Zuckerberg.

Health Influencers Are Now Blaming Their Weight Gain On Shampoo

Sorry, what?

It’s no surprise that there’s a lot of unsolicited (and misguided) health advice floating around the Internet, and our Instagram feeds, in particular. But this health influencer’s latest claim has followers questioning everything.

Eleni Chechopoulos, who is a health influencer and self-described “gut and hormone nutritionist,” took to Instagram recently to tell her 11,000 followers that it’s their shampoo that could be causing weight gain. 

In the lengthy post, Chechopoulos wrote, “Managing weight isn’t only about calories in vs. calories out.”

“Enter obesogens. Chemicals that disrupt HOW your body creates and stores fat – found in shampoo, toothpaste, grocery store receipts, shower curtains, makeup, perfume and so. much. more.”

The health influencer went on to claim that “even though you eat healthy and exercise every day, you still might battle the scale because of your SHAMPOO.”

Obesogens are a real thing, and according to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) refer to “specific chemicals” that have been found to “disrupt normal metabolic processes and increase susceptibility to weight gain across the lifespan.” 

However, experts have clapped back at Chechopoulos’ claims. Belinda MacDougall, the CEO of The Healthy Happy Co told News.com.au “to say shampoo is the reason we are overweight is ridiculous and while chemicals in all beauty products can be bad for our health, weight gain is far more related to what we eat.”

“Sadly, I think our weight gain has more to do with the cereals, takeaway, pizza, processed foods, wine, beer and soft drinks.” 

Twitter users are also calling BS on Chechopoulos’ post, causing the health influencer to switch her account to private. 

The NIEHS states that “unhealthy diet and lack of exercise are the main factors that contribute to weight gain and obesity, but studies have found that obesogens may also be playing a role.” 

Chechopoulos’ claim that shampoo in general can cause weight gain is a pretty sweeping statement. The NIEHS notes that Phthalates, found in shampoo and other consumer products to make them softer, is an example of an obesogen. 

The NIEHS suggests avoiding obesogens by eating fresh fruit and veges, reducing plastic use, not using plastics in the microwave, buying furniture that hasn’t been treated with flame retardants and choosing fragrance-free products. 

It’s no surprise that Chechopoulos has landed herself in hot water for making ballsy weight gain claims. A recent report from the ABC stated that social media influencers are putting people’s lives at risk by promoting superfoods, wellness advice and alternative medicine on Instagram. 

Instagram and health influencers with a captive audience need to understand the power of their platform and think twice before offering far-fetched, and at times, baseless health and wellness advice to their followers. 

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