Entertainment

Love Island contestants to have social media accounts disabled while on show

Love Island contestants appearing on the upcoming winter series will have to disable their social media accounts to protect them and their families, ITV has said.

The broadcaster said islanders will have to make their accounts “dormant” so nothing can be published on their behalf while they are in the villa.

The decision aims to avoid “the adverse effects of social media”.

Contestants will also receive “guidance and training” around “mutually respectful behaviour in relationships” after broadcasting watchdog Ofcom received thousands of complaints, many related to “alleged misogynistic and bullying behaviour,” during the most recent series.

Resource links to help “identify negative behaviours in relationships” and “understand the behaviour patterns associated with controlling and coercive behaviour,” will be made available before meeting other contestants, as well as “inclusive language” training, which was first introduced in May this year.

These new measures are part of ITV’s duty of care measures for 2023.

Contestants will also be required to watch a video of the show’s executive producer and head of welfare interviewing former islanders about their experiences on the show.

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It will include tips on how to cope being filmed 24 hours a day and dealing with trolling on social media.

Dr Matthew Gould, a consultant chartered clinical psychologist who is also part of the duty of care team, said: “The enhanced safeguards introduced for Love Island 2023 demonstrate ITV’s commitment to evolve duty of care protocols to minimise harm, where possible.

“The bold decision to pause islanders’ social media activity during the new series is testament to ITV’s serious intent, especially as this input provides both a benefit to the appeal of the programme and a potential source of mental health problems.

“Balancing this tight-rope requires both the identification of which safeguards have the greatest positive impact on participants’ wellbeing and the professional partnership, put in place by ITV, especially between producers and their welfare teams, and most importantly, the contributors themselves.”

ITV’s The Jeremy Kyle Show was axed in 2019 after growing scrutiny concerning the duty of care that reality TV shows have to participants, following the death of a contestant.

This criticism extended to Love Island following the deaths of former contestants Sophie Gradon and Mike Thalassitis.

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