Instagram Is Finally Clamping Down On These Hashtags
Instagram has clamped down on hashtags referencing eating disorders in an effort to prevent the glamourisation of mental health conditions such as bulimia and anorexia.
If now search hashtags such as 'bulimia', a message will pop up on your screen asking if Instagram can help you.
It reads: 'Can we help? Posts with words or tags you're searching for often encourage behaviour that can cause harm and even lead to death. If you're going through something difficult, we'd like to help."
There is an option to get support is available on screen.
The news comes a sort few months after the social media site was criticised by mental health charities over hashtags that posed dangerous health risks to users following an investigation by Sky News.
In a statement sent to The Independent, a spokesperson for Instagram said: "With so many young people coming to Instagram to connect, support and discover, it is our priority to make sure they feel safe and do not see things that they shouldn't."
"We do not tolerate content that encourages eating disorders and we use powerful tools and technologies - including in-app reporting and machine learning - to help identify and remove it."
"However, we recognise this is a complex issue and we want people struggling with their mental health to be able to access support on Instagram when and where they need it."
"We, therefore, go beyond simply removing content and hashtags and take a holistic approach by offering people looking at or posting certain content the option to access tips and support, talk to a friend, or reach out directly to Papyrus UK or the Samaritans."
"Experts we work with tell us that communication is key in order to create awareness, and that coming together for support and facilitating recovery is important."
If you or someone you know is suffering from an eating disorder, you can contact the Bodywhys helpline on 1890 200 444 or [email protected].
Kellie Kearney is a Dublin mammy of kids aged 2, 3, 4 and 8. A self-confessed procrastinator and picker-upper of things, Kellie's loves include coffee, doughnuts, travel and sharing every day true to life moments on Instagram of her expanding family. Follow her on Instagram.