Instagram bans ‘graphic’ self-harm images after Molly Russell’s death

Instagram has announced that it will ban all graphic self-harm images as part of a series of changes made in response to the death of British teenager Molly Russell.

The photo-sharing platform made the decision – which critics said was necessary but long overdue – in response to a tide of public anger over the suicide of the 14-year-old girl, whose Instagram account contained distressing material about depression and suicide.

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Instagram Bans Graphic Images of Self-Harm After Teenager’s Suicide
Instagram announced on Thursday that it would no longer allow graphic images of self-harm, such as cutting, on its platform. The change appears to be in response to public attention to how the social network might have influenced a 14-year-old’s suicide.

In a statement explaining the change, Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, made a distinction between graphic images about self-harm and nongraphic images, such as photos of healed scars. Those types of images will still be allowed, but Instagram will make them more difficult to find by excluding them from search results, hashtags and recommended content.

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