In an effort to reduce the amount of unseemly and graphic images posted on its social media platform, Instagram said it will begin banning drawings, cartoons and memes that depict people engaging in self-harm and suicide.
The announcement is an expansion of a policy that Facebook-owned Instagram put in place in February to ban graphic images of self-harm, as well as put in place sensitivity screens that have so far hidden 834,000 pieces of content. As part of its new policy, Instagram said that accounts sharing content that depicts self-harm or suicide won’t be recommended in the service’s search or explore field.
Instagram also will add more information to its site about suicide prevention resources from organizations such as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and the Trevor Project in the United States, and the Samaritans and Papyrus helplines in the United Kingdom.
“Nothing is more important to me than the safety of the people who use Instagram, particularly the most vulnerable,” said Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, in a company blog post about the new policy. “Suicide and self-harm are difficult and complex topics that people understandably care deeply about. These issues are complicated. There are many opinions about how best to approach them. But they matter a lot, and to me, as a parent, they certainly hit home.”