In­sta­gram changes rules on self-harm post­ings on its web­site

The Hazleton Standard-Speaker - - HEALTH / WEATHER -

LONDON — In­sta­gram has agreed to ban graphic im­ages of self-harm af­ter ob­jec­tions were raised in Bri­tain fol­low­ing the sui­cide of a teen whose father said the photo-shar­ing plat­form had con­trib­uted to her de­ci­sion to take her own life.

In­sta­gram chief Adam Mosseri said Thurs­day evening the plat­form is mak­ing a series of changes to its con­tent rules.

He said: “We are not where we need to be on self-harm and sui­cide, and we need to do more to pro­tect the most vul­ner­a­ble in our com­mu­nity.”

Mosseri said fur­ther changes will be made.

“I have a re­spon­si­bil­ity to get this right,” he said. “We will get bet­ter and we are com­mit­ted to find­ing and re­mov­ing this con­tent at scale, and work­ing with ex­perts and the wider in­dus­try to find ways to sup­port people when they’re most in need.”

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

Her father, Ian Rus­sell, said he be­lieves the con­tent Molly viewed on In­sta­gram played a con­tribut­ing role in her death, a charge that re­ceived wide at­ten­tion in the Bri­tish press.

The changes were an­nounced af­ter In­sta­gram and other tech firms, in­clud­ing Face­book, Snapchat and Twit­ter, met with Bri­tish Health Sec­re­tary Matt Hancock and rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the Samaritans, a men­tal health charity that works to pre­vent sui­cide.

In­sta­gram is also re­mov­ing non-graphic im­ages of self-harm from searches.

Face­book, which owns In­sta­gram, said in a state­ment that in­de­pen­dent ex­perts ad­vise that Face­book should “al­low people to share ad­mis­sions of self-harm and sui­ci­dal thoughts but should not al­low people to share con­tent pro­mot­ing it.”

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