What you need to know
Instagram has announced extensive restrictions on self-harm events.
It now covers fictitious representations of self-mutilation or suicide, including drawings, memes and graphic images of films or comics.
Instagram had already announced stricter measures for self-damaging images in February.
Instagram last month announced the extension of the ban on self-injury and suicide to fictional content such as memes and drawings, as well as movie and comic strip graphics.
In a blog post, service director Adam Mosseri said on Sunday:
Last month, we continued to expand our guidelines to prohibit more types of self-injury and suicide. We no longer allow fictitious representations of self-mutilation or suicide on Instagram, such as drawings or memes or the content of movies or comics using graphic images. We will also remove other images that may not cause self-mutilation or suicide but contain related information or methods.
Accounts that share this type of content are also not recommended when searching or in our discovery interfaces such as Explore. And we will send more people with more resources with localized hotlines such as Samaritans and PAPYRUS in the UK or National Lifeline for Suicide Prevention and the Trevor Project in the United States.
Mosseri has designed the latest updates to admit that young people can be influenced positively or negatively by what they see online.
Two things apply to online communities and they conflict with each other. First, the tragic reality is that some young people are negatively affected by what they see online and risk getting hurt. This is a real risk.
At the same time, many young people go online to seek help in their struggles – for example, sharing healed scars or talking about their recovery from an eating disorder. Often these online support networks are the only way to find others who have shared their experiences.
According to Instagram, more than 834,000 content items have been removed, their visibility reduced or sensitivity screens added since the February announcement of new measures to prevent self-injury and suicide. He found more than 77% before being reported. Mosseri also acknowledged that it was an ongoing struggle and that Instagram’s work on this topic would never be completed and that its policies and technologies would evolve as new behaviors and trends emerge. It is also said to work with several academics and experts, as well as the Swedish organization of mental health, MIND.
It expressed the wish to bring its improved technology to the EU, but had to review “important legal considerations under EU law” in cooperation with its European regulatory authority.
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