Instagram has taken action to prevent users of its service from ‘glorifying self-harm’ and using it to promote extreme weight-loss topics like anorexia and bulemia.
This has become a major issue across many online communities lately, with the ‘thinspiration’ tag causing issues at Pinterest and Tumblr updating its policies to ban self-harm blogs.
Instagram says that it has updated its Community Guidelines, banning accounts, images and hashtags dedicated to “glorifying, promoting, or encouraging self-harm.”
This includes extreme weight-loss hashtags like ‘thinspiration’, ‘probulimia’ and ‘proanorexia’, which are no longer searchable. The service will add notices that warn users of the content of images with hashtags that reference practices like cutting and suicide in a future update, with links to suicide and eating disorder help sites.
The new language added to the Instagram guidelines is as follows:
Don’t promote or glorify self-harm: While Instagram is a place where people can share their lives with others through photographs, any account found encouraging or urging users to embrace anorexia, bulimia, or other eating disorders; or to cut, harm themselves, or commit suicide will result in a disabled account without warning. We believe that communication regarding these behaviors in order to create awareness, come together for support and to facilitate recovery is important, but that Instagram is not the place for active promotion or glorification of self-harm.
Instagram notes that these new policies to not apply to accounts created to talk about recovery and open discussion, but instead to feeds that promote these practices as a way of life, in a positive fashion.