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Instagram bans graphic self-harm images after teenager’s ‘suicide’

Facebook-owned photo-sharing platform Instagram, on Thursday made a major decision to ban all graphic images of self-harm from its platform.

The move comes after the father of British teenager Molly Russell said the site was directly responsible for the death of her 14-year-old. The family is said to have found that Molly had been viewing graphic images of self-harm on her Instagram account just few moments before taking her own life.

The giant social platform through a statement said that the company will also prevent graphic self-harm related content, such as images of healed scars, and hashtags promoting graphic contents.

“At Instagram, nothing is more important to us than the safety of the people in our community. 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,” Head Adam Mosseri said in a blog post on Thursday.

However Mr. Mosseri added that Instagram will continues to support people who need help and as such it will not be removing the content entirely.

“We don’t want to stigmatize or isolate people who may be in distress and posting self-harm related content as a cry for help,” Mosseri said.

The company had previously allowed people to share graphic images of self-harm with the hope it would help them get the support they need.

In its own statement, Facebook, which acquired Instagram in 2012, said it had spoken to more than a dozen experts from around the world about ways of improving its policy.

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