Facebook's Instagram will not allow posting of images related to self-harm and suicide.
The company announced that it would not allow any graphic images of self-harm, such as cutting on Instagram – even if it would previously have been allowed as admission.
The change appears to be in response to public attention to how the social network might have influenced a 14-year-old’s suicide.
Instagram will also not show non-graphic, self-harm related content – such as healed scars – in search, hashtags and the explore tab, and will not be recommending it. The company says it is not removing this type of content from Instagram entirely, in order not to "stigmatize or isolate people who may be in distress and posting self-harm related content as a cry for help."
Instagram will also support people in their time of need – so the company is focused on getting more resources to people posting and searching for self-harm related content and directing them to organizations that can help.
"Our aim is to have no graphic self-harm or graphic suicide related content on Instagram and to significantly reduce – with the goal of removing – all self-harm and suicide imagery from hashtags, search, the explore tab or as recommended content, while still ensuring we support those using Instagram to connect with communities of support," said Adam Mosseri, Head of Instagram.
"We need to create a safe and supportive community for everyone – but this not as simple of just switching off a button. We will not be able to remove these images immediately and we must make sure that people posting self-harm related content do not lose their ability to express themselves and connect with help in their time of need. We will get better and we are committed to finding and removing this content at scale," he added.