Instagram Banning Memes & Content Depicting Self-Harm

Instagram is moving forward with its policy to remove images of self-harm or suicide from its platform. In an announcement from the company over the weekend, the social media platform announced that any memes, videos, drawings or imagery that depict self-harm or suicide have been banned.

“To help us stay aware of new trends or cultural nuances, we meet every month with academics and experts on suicide and self-harm. We are also working with the Swedish mental health organization MIND to understand the role that technology and social media has on the lives of young people,” head of Instagram Adam Mosseri wrote in a blog post.

The announcement comes at a time when multiple studies have shown the negative impact social media has on mental health.

“To help us stay aware of new trends or cultural nuances, we meet every month with academics and experts on suicide and self-harm. We are also working with the Swedish mental health organization, MIND, to understand the role that technology and social media has on the lives of young people. In the U.K, we are working with the Samaritans on an industry-wide effort to shape new guidelines to help people in distress,” the announcement continued.

The increase in depression and anxiety from social media along with the promotion of imagery depicting self-harm is a horrific combination that can have fatal results. Now, Instagram is doing its part to take another step towards protecting its users’ mental health.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a suicide prevention network of 161 crisis centers that provides a 24/7, toll-free hotline available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress and can be reached at 1-800-273-8255.

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