Instagram changes rules on self-harm postings after suicide

Instagram said it’s forbidding graphic pictures of self-harm after objections were raised in United Kingdom following the suicide of a teenager whose father said the photo-sharing platform had contributed to her decision to take her own life.

Instagram chief Adam Mosseri said the platform is creating a series of changes to its content rules “to keep the foremost vulnerable people who use Instagram safe.”

“We ought to do more to think about the impact of these pictures on people who may see them. This is a troublesome, however necessary balance to get right,” he said in a statement on Thursday.

The company said it won’t permit graphic pictures of self-harm. It additionally said it won’t show non-graphic, self-harm connected content in search or through hashtags, nor will it recommend such content to its users.

However, Mosseri said the corporate won’t ban non-graphic, self-harm content entirely because “we don’t want to stigmatize or isolate those who may be in distress and posting self-harm connected content as a cry for help.”

The call for changes was backed by the British government after the family of 14-year-old Molly Russell found material associated with depression and suicide on her Instagram account after her death in 2017.

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