Big Change Coming to 'Love Island' Season 9 Following Fan Outrage

A very big change is coming to Love Island Season 9, following fan outrage from Season 8. Deadline reports that contestants of the ITV show will have their social media accounts — including Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook — taken away for the duration of the forthcoming season. In the past, contestant social media pages have been managed by friends or family, but this year the show is testing out having them paused instead. It's unclear if this will impact other franchise shows, such as Love Island USA.

Dr. Matthew Gould, a psychologist who consults on the show, said of the move, "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." The "enhanced safeguards," as Gould describes them, also include contestants "receiving guidance and training around mutually respectful behaviour in relationships" prior to the show's season premiere. Finally, Deadline adds that contestants "will also be offered resource links to help them identify negative behaviors in relationships and understand patterns associated with controlling and coercive behavior."

Back in August, following the finale of Love Island USA Season 4, had a chance to speak with stars Phoebe Siegel and Chad Robinson about the aftermath of their time on the show, and where their relationship stood. "We aren't necessarily looking at it like, 'Oh, we're doing this to... with some crazy purpose,'" Chad shared. "We're just more like, 'We're going to move how we moved in the Villa.' We're going to hang out, and if it keeps progressing, then awesome, because that's kind of how it went." 

Phoebe then added that the pair were "trying to figure out how to navigate the outside world with our connection. We're looking forward to allowing that to be authentic to us. And I mean, he is a great guy, so if one day I end up being exclusive with him, I'm the lucky one. But, like we were in the Villa, we are intending to continue with our connection, how we would really on the outside world because that's how we dealt with it in the Villa." The new season of Love Island kicks off Jan. 16, on ITV in the United Kingdom. Love Island USA does not currently have an announced premiere date but is expected to debut in summer 2023 on Peacock.