TV & Showbiz
Love Island stars will have their Instagram accounts disabled for the first time this year
It's all to tackle trolls and look after everyone's mental wellbeing.
The stars of the new series of Love Island, which has started tonight on ITV2, will be facing a social media ban for the first time.
Contestants on the ninth series of the hit reality show will be instructed to pause their social accounts, including Instagram and Twitter.
It’s part of ITV’s new duty of care guidelines, designed to protect and support the islanders.
In previous years, those taking part in the scantily-clad search for love handed the reigns of their social media accounts over to their loved ones, who posted content on their behalf.
Those actually in the Love Island villa have never had access to social media, leaving their families on the outside to face any trolling that has cropped up on their accounts.
But this year it’ll be all change, with winter Love Island contestants told to pause their social media accounts, including their lucrative Instagram platforms, to ‘protect both the Islanders and their families from the adverse effects of social media’.
The move has drawn support from former contestants and psychologists, reports the BBC, who say the show now has a ‘gold standard’ when it comes to duty of care.
ITV has thrown a huge amount of resource behind contestants’ wellbeing in recent years, following the tragic deaths of former Love Islanders Mike Thalassitis and Sophie Gradon.
ITV said: “As part of extended measures to protect both the Islanders and their families from the adverse effects of social media, participants will be asked to pause handles and accounts on their social media platforms for the duration of their time on the show.
“Islanders’ accounts will remain dormant while they are in the Villa, so that nothing is published on their behalf.”
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Also new this year will be the show’s presenter, as Maya Jama steps up to fill the stillettos of Laura Whitmore.
Those taking part in winter Love Island include Michelle Keegan‘s ‘body double’ Olivia, PE teacher and part-time rugby player from Manchester Kai, and farmer Will, who already has a massive social media following on platforms like TikTok and Instagram.
Despite the silence on their accounts, fans will still be able to find them and follow them, with Islanders typically leaving the show with hundreds of thousands – if not more than a million – new followers.
Featured image: ITV