Intended for healthcare professionals


Dermatologists criticise Facebook and Instagram for removing psoriasis images

BMJ 2018; 360 doi: (Published 09 March 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;360:k1137
  1. Ned Stafford
  1. Hamburg

German and British dermatologists have accused Facebook and Instagram of discrimination and censorship for removing photographs of skin affected by psoriasis and blocking hashtags relating to psoriasis from their platforms.1

The accusations come as patients are increasingly posting photos of their skin on social media in an attempt to generate support, raise awareness, and destigmatise skin problems, according to support groups.

In response to the social media bans, the UK Psoriasis Association launched an online petition to “stop the censorship of psoriasis on social media.”2 (

A spokesperson for Facebook, which owns Instagram, issued a statement saying that the bans were only temporary and are no longer in effect.

“People use Instagram and Facebook to connect around the things that …

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