Instagram's new policy on self-harm images - share your thoughts
Trigger warning – this thread talks about self-harm/suicide so please only read if you feel able to. If there’s anything you’ve found upsetting in this thread, please do reach out for support with us https://www.themix.org.uk/get-support or you can phone Samaritans on 116 123.
Some of you may have been following this in the news and seen that Instagram have changed their policy to protect users by banning graphic self-harm images. This is in light of a young girl taking her life recently.
Instagram and Facebook have been running expert panel discussions which The Mix have been part of and they’ve written a blog about this new policy which we’d really like to hear your thoughts on. Some of the language used in this blog may be triggering so please only read if you feel able to.
I've copied below the main points from the blog (some of this has been edited from the main blog so it's in line with our guidelines. You can read the full blog post here).
2. But the experts also advised that some graphic images of self-harm, can have the potential to unintentionally promote self-harm even when they are shared in the context of admission or a path to recovery. As a result, based on their feedback, we will no longer allow graphic cutting images even in the context of admission and we will begin enforcing this policy in the coming weeks.
3. We also discussed whether other kinds of content — like scars shared to tell the story of recovery or certain sad memes — might unintentionally promote self-harm. This is an area where there is incomplete and sometimes competing research and the experts suggested that we continue to monitor the latest findings. We’ll do so as we continue discussions around this topic.
4. Finally, the experts emphasized the importance of building products that facilitate supportive connections, finding more opportunities to offer help and resources, and importantly, avoiding shaming people who post about their self-harm thoughts or actions. We will continue to provide resources, including messages with links to helplines, and over the coming weeks we will explore additional steps or products we can provide within Instagram and Facebook.
What are your thoughts on this blog and what do you think about the decision they’ve made to ban graphic self-harm images?
If you're interested in getting involved in more of the work we're doing with Instagram, head over to this thread to give your feedback on the wording they're using to communicate with people who are trying to view or post content which contains images of self-harm.
If you're interested in writing a blog post for our website about Instagram's new policy, send us a PM
Aife & the team