Love Island updates duty of care policy to say contestants must 'pause' social media

This year's singles looking for romance on Love Island will have to leave their social media accounts dormant while they are on the show

Laura Whitmore - Love Island starts at 9pm Monday 6th June on ITV2 and ITV Hub. Episodes are available the following morning on BritBox. (ITV)
Laura Whitmore hosted the 2022 series. (ITV)

Love Island has announced a shake-up that will see contestants' social media accounts paused while they are in the villa.

Contestants' friends and relatives often run their accounts for them while they are on the ITV dating programme.

But the change was revealed as Love Island unveiled its duty of care measures for 2023.

Read more: Matt Hancock asked if he's doing Love Island after I'm A Celebrity

It comes after this year's series - which was hosted by Laura Whitmore and won by Ekin-Su Culculoglu and Davide Sanclimenti - was hit with thousands of complaints over alleged misogynistic and bullying behaviour by some contestants, with one episode becoming the most complained about TV moment of the year.

ITV said that as part of extended measures to protect the Islanders and their families, participants will be asked to pause handles and accounts on their social media platforms while they are on the show. Nothing can be published on their accounts on their behalf either.

London, UK. 15th Nov, 2022. Ekin-Su Culculoglu and Davide Sanclimenti attend the ITV Palooza 2022 at the Royal Festival Hall in London. (Credit Image: © Brett Cove/SOPA Images via ZUMA Press Wire)
Ekin-Su Culculoglu and Davide Sanclimenti won Love Island 2022. (SOPA Images via ZUMA Press Wire)

As well as comprehensive psychological support, contestants will get guidance and training around mutually respectful behaviour, training on social media and training on financial management.

The broadcaster said that prior to appearing on the show, prospective Islanders will also watch a video interviewing former contestants about their experiences.

"This includes details on the two week period before they enter the villa, how to cope being filmed 24/7, the interaction they will have with producers in the villa, the support provided to family members, dealing with social media trolling, and adapting to life away from the show," a release said.

Dr Matthew Gould, one of those involved with overseeing Love Island's duty of care protocols, said the "enhanced safeguards" demonstrate ITV’s commitment to evolve duty of care protocols "to minimise harm, where possible".

December 5th, 2022, London, UK. EDITORIAL USE ONLY Maya Jama arriving at The Fashion Awards 2022, Royal Albert Hall, London. Credit: Doug Peters/EMPICS/Alamy Live News
Maya Jama is the new host of Love Island. (EMPICS/Alamy Live News)

"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," he said.

Read more: Love Island: ITV will 'sit down and review' show after 5,000 Ofcom complaints

"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.”

Love Island is set to return this year, with Maya Jama taking over from Whitmore as host.

Watch: Maya Jama has been confirmed as the new Love Island host