Like Tumblr And Pinterest, Instagram Bans “Thinspo” Postings
Popular photo sharing service Instagram announced this week that, like several other major social networks, it will be banning posts that advocate self-harm. While this ban covers suicide and self-mutilation like cutting, it is presumably directed largely at the pro-anorexia and pro-bulimia “thinspiration” communities which have found a haven online.
The company announced the new additions to their community guidelines in a blog post:
Going forward, we won’t allow accounts, images, or hashtags dedicated to glorifying, promoting, or encouraging self-harm. Should users come across content of that nature, we recommend flagging the photo or flagging the user as a “Terms of Service” violation for our Support team to review.
However, Instagram added that this ban will not apply to discussions of self-harm “where the intention is recovery or open discussion,” and encouraged their users to continue to seek help and communicate constructively.
Earlier this year, both Pinterest and Tumblr made similar moves, banning self-harm posts and accounts from their sites, and adding disclaimers to potentially related searches.
There’s no word yet on whether this move was driven by Instagram’s purchase by social networking giant Facebook for $1 billion just weeks ago. Facebook also bans content promoting self-mutilation, and recently teamed with the National Suicide Prevention LifeLine to offer Facebook users a direct link to a LifeLine counselor, and an easier way to encourage users who might be suicidal to seek help.
What do you think about Instagram’s new policy?