Instagram Have Introduced a Reporting Tool to Take Measures Against Self-Harming
Obviously, the platforms have an obligation to address the issue, but outright banning such images can often just exacerbate the issue, or just force it to migrate elsewhere. A careful, caring approach needs to be taken, and that's exactly what Instagram have done with their new reporting function.
If you see a post which suggests self-harm, implicitly or otherwise, you can anonymously report it, and then a message will be sent to the user who posted it offering support, suggesting they contact a friend, linking to a helpline number and a page for advice on how to cope with depressive episodes, bullying and other potential causes. People often feel hesitant to actually speak to someone who they've seen to be self-harming, or even contemplating suicide, in case they say the wrong thing and make the issue worse.
Searching for certain hashtags known to be linked with self-harm will also bring up the support message, such as #thinspo, which is linked to anorexia and other eating disorders. It's an intelligent play by Instagram, demonstrating that they understand the best approach to this sort of thing isn't the ban culture that other platforms are employed, and in fact social media can actually provide an important first step in spotting and addressing issues like these.
Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @Songbird_Callum
Instagram Have Introduced a Reporting Tool to Take Measures Against Self-Harming Reviewed by Callum Davies on Monday, October 24, 2016 Rating: