Suicide is the second most leading reason for death worldwide among the young generation. The World Health Organization has revealed that 800,000 people die each year from suicide. Eyeing to the whole scenario, Instagram has started removing content which is seen to promote self-harm or suicide. Not just that, it also tends to remove the contents that depict or implies any methods or materials aiding suicide or self-harm.
In 2017, a British teenager Molly Russell took her own life, allegedly after coming across a provocative graphic on Instagram. After this shocking incident, the teenager’s family and especially her father has blamed the social networking platform Instagram and Pinterest for her death. After the sad demise of the British teen, there was a serious conjecture that the platform pushes posts towards you, that you have been looking at.
Instagram has, therefore, started taking steps in order to remove contents, graphics, and memes that provoke self-harm by any means. It has continued to crack down on graphic images posted and is extending the ban on contents ranging from the cartoon, memes to video contents that contains any and every sort of provocative messages or thoughts regarding self-harm. As a step in this whole procedure, the company has decided not to recommend such pages in its search or explore division if it is noticed that it has instigated self-harm or any material that relates to the same through its posts.
Also, suicide prevention posts and contents shall be promoted with the help of organizations like the Samaritans, the Trevor Project, and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Previously, immediately after the incident happened, the company tried to combat against such posts by adding sensitivity screens to more than 834,000 pieces of content. On Sunday, through a blog post, Instagram has shared its opinion and workflow regarding its attempt to curbing the suicidal symptoms among the young generation triggered or influenced by social media platforms.
In its blog post, it has clearly said, after the public outcry, it had immediately launched ban on several graphic contents and now is working vigorously on it and in an extensive manner taking more steps to keep people who use Instagram, safe! In its blog post, the company has deliberately announced its no tolerance against fictional depictions of self-harm or suicide on Instagram. “Experts tell us that giving people a chance to share their most difficult moments and their stories of recovery can be a vital means of support,” Instagram says.
The internet is so widely spread and easily available that the young generation is not only attracted to it, but also with the revolutionizing changes to digitize the world around us; they can easily avail it. And the more time the social media platforms take to bring the reformation regarding the removal of self-harm provoking content from the platform.
Instagram’s latest move regarding this was praised from several sections of the society, and regarding this, the Mental Health Foundation has tweeted. The tweet read, “We would also like to see them try to support distressed users who are posting such content in the first instance”. On this context, Instagram has also blogged regarding the provision of support, “Experts tell us that giving people a chance to share their most difficult moments and their stories of recovery can be a vital means of support”.