Tim Lane / Getty / BuzzFeed

Over the past year, Instagram has been taken over by a trend known as “thread” accounts. Usually run by teenagers, they feature screenshots from other social media platforms, like Twitter, and are focused on sharing life advice with the millions of young people flocking to Instagram. The owners of these accounts post about things like skin care, beauty tips, weight loss, and mental health, and have racked up hundreds of thousands of followers. They’ve become mini content empires all their own, and earn thousands of dollars in ad revenue.

These accounts have also become a breeding ground for unvetted, inaccurate, and at-times dangerous health guidance. Health experts might dispute a post suggesting a diet of eggs, yogurt, salad, oatmeal, and blueberries to lose weight, or have qualms about a page promoting a two-week summer tone-up routine that promises results if you stop snacking, work out, and jog for 30 minutes a day, while also featuring the disclaimer “please don’t overwork yourself or miss meals.” Another page appears to promise abs by just doing basic core exercises. And another seems to recommend face masks that contain apple cider vinegar for acne, an ingredient that can cause burns. BuzzFeed News has reached out to these accounts for comment.

All of it comes packaged up with high-res aspirational photography of young women and branded with the vague banner term of “self-care,” a catch-all popular phrase for a…

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