The Dos and Don’ts for Facebook Content on Weight Loss, Cosmetic Procedures and Wellness

Facebook regulations on video testimonials

The Dos and Don’ts for Facebook Content on Weight Loss, Cosmetic Procedures and Wellness.

The Dos and Don’ts for Facebook Content on Weight Loss, Cosmetic Procedures and Wellness.

Today’s social media platforms are keenly aware of their impact on people’s emotions, behaviors and self-esteem. This is especially true when it comes to those under the age of 18.

Facebook has created rules and regulations surrounding what is and is not acceptable in claims posted revolving around health and wellness, cosmetic procedures and weight loss. If you’re posting on social media, you’ll need to know what can and cannot be said. Beyond wanting to be compliant, you should always act in the best interests of the readers when it comes to claims and conversations surrounding issues that may affect self-perception.

Here is a list of Facebook guidelines you need to be aware of and follow:

Advertisers can run ads that promote cosmetic procedures or wellness products and services as long as they only target people 18 years or older.

When targeting people 18 years or older, advertisers can run ads that promote:

  • Weight loss products and services
  • Dietary, health or herbal supplements, such as vitamins and other ingestible dietary products
  • Cosmetic surgeries and procedures, such as:
  • Breast augmentation, breast reduction, abdominoplasty, blepharoplasty, rhinoplasty, rhytidectomy, labiaplasty, hair restoration surgery, dermal fillers, skin rejuvenation treatments, injectable treatments, chemical peels, micro-needling, non-ablative laser treatments, laser or light treatments, or micropigmentation
  • Gender reassignment services and procedures

The targeting restrictions above don’t apply to ads that promote or sell:

  • Products and services marketed for general wellbeing
  • General food products
  • Cosmetic products such as creams, makeup and hair products

Regarding weight loss statements specifically, ad content must not imply or attempt to generate negative self-perception in order to promote diet, weight loss, or other health-related products.

Advertisers can’t run ads for health or appearance-related products that imply or attempt to generate negative self-perception.

At Meta, we want people in our community to feel comfortable, confident and safe to be exactly who they are while expressing themselves freely.

Ads can’t:

  • Declare or imply there is a perfect body type or appearance one should aspire to
  • Promote or reinforce negative or unhealthy body images
  • Exploit insecurities to conform to certain beauty standards
  • Contain distasteful messaging that could make people feel negatively about the way they look
  • Promote an unhealthy relationship with food or exercise
  • Show close-up imagery on the health condition of a person
  • Feature body shaming of any type

The younger generations are not only influenced by what they see, hear and read on social media…who they are becoming is affected. We all want to raise well-adjusted, physically and emotionally healthy people. It starts with where they spent the most amount of their time: social media.

Do your videos need to be ADA Compliant?

ADA compliance and video testimonials

ADA compliance and video testimonials

ADA compliance and video testimonials

Recently, Share One was alerted about a case where a business was served with an unlimited lawsuit for posting a video not in ADA compliance. The company did not have closed captioning on the video for the hearing impaired.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is in place to make the world accessible to individuals with disabilities. A recent study revealed that a whopping 91% of businesses use videos as part of their marketing campaigns in 2023 so it’s vital that ADA compliance guidelines are followed.

Under ADA Title III, businesses and organizations considered “public accommodations” must make their services and products accessible to people with disabilities. This covers every business selling anything online and extends to websites and online domains.

Most content creators aren’t thinking about the ADA when creating online content and videos, but Title II of the Act specifies guidelines surrounding recording and editing publicly available videos so that people with disabilities can access the information.

In order for videos and video testimonials to be compliant, and less likely to draw an ADA disability lawsuit, you need to incorporate several components.

  • Videos should have closed captions for deaf and hard-of-hearing audiences. The term “closed caption” refers to captions which cannot be turned off from the viewer’s side. Videos produced with subtitles are closed captioned. An estimated 11.5 million Americans have some form of hearing loss, and almost 12 million Americans aged 40 and older have some form of vision impairment.
  • Captions should be complete and accurate, timed with the video and speech as closely as possible. If sound effects are relevant to the content and intent of the video, they also need to have captions inside brackets, for example, [doorbell rings] or [car revving engine].
  • Captions must be easily readable and appear on the screen long enough for viewers to read them.
  • Captions should contain no more than three (3) lines of text on-screen at one time.
  • Editors should caption all words regardless of dialect or language.
  • Audio/voice transcription is necessary for blind viewers.
  • Accessible Video Player: you want to make sure your media player has keyboard-operable controls for people who cannot use a mouse. Use an accessible video player that enables keyboard support and allows people to control features like volume, enabling closed captions, or fast-forwarding.
  • Transcripts : making transcripts available is another component to ADA compliance. This is a text version of the audio track of a video. You can post the transcript or provide a URL for downloading it. Audio transcriptions are a requirement of Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). While nothing is codified into law, U.S. courts frequently reference the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) as the standards websites should meet to be considered ADA-compliant.

The company AccessiBe has put together an ADA compliance checklist here.

Legal Implications

If your video isn’t accessible to everyone, it’s considered discrimination. In the realm of ADA, it’s discrimination against the disability community, impeding their access to the same information non-impaired people have access to. It creates a digital barrier.

Legal action can result, as seen in our example at the beginning of this blog., which can be as simple as a demand letter for ADA website compliance or could escalate to a compliance lawsuit.

Outside of legal implications, your brand could be damaged, especially given the world of social media and testimonials. Beyond the legalities, we believe that doing what’s right and inclusion is always the best rule to follow.

Disclaimer: This post is for general informational purposes and is not intended as legal or ethical advice. All practitioners and advisors are responsible for understanding the legal and ethical guidelines of the governing bodies for their industry and which apply to their situation.