Image sharing platform, Instagram is tightening its rules on self-injury images

Late on Thursday, the Facebook-owned service announced it is clamping down on images related to self-injury such as cutting.

AFP reports that the move came after British Health Secretary Matt Hancock met with social media companies about doing more to safeguard the mental health of teenagers using their platforms.

British teenager Molly Russell was found dead in her bedroom in 2017. The 14-year-old had apparently taken her own life, and her Instagram account reportedly revealed she followed accounts related to depression and suicide.

"It is encouraging to see that decisive steps are now being taken to try to protect children from disturbing content on Instagram," said the girl's father, Ian Russell.

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Changes to Instagram's self-harm content rules follow a comprehensive review involving experts and academics from around the world on youth, mental health, and suicide, according to chief executive Adam Mosseri.

"Over the past month, we have seen that we are not where we need to be on self-harm and suicide, and that we need to do more to keep the most vulnerable people who use Instagram safe," Mosseri said in an online post.

"We will not allow any graphic images of self-harm, such as cutting on Instagram – even if it would previously have been allowed as admission."

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