Instagram has vowed to remove all graphic images of self-harm on the platform after a dad said the app ‘helped kill’ his daughter. Molly Russell, 14, who took her own life in 2017, watched graphic footage of self-harm on the social media platform before her death, her family found. Instagram boss Adam Mosseri told the BBC: ‘We’re going to change our policy to not allow any graphic images of self-harm.’
He said the move will ‘take some time’ but that the company was ‘committed on doing it’.
The Facebook-owned app’s policy currently relies on users to report graphic images, but the platform is now looking into new technology to solve the problem. Mr Mosseri added: ‘Historically, we have allowed content related to self-harm that’s “admission” because people sometimes need to tell their story – but we haven’t allowed anything that promoted self-harm.’ The BBC reporter asked if Mr Mosseri should resign if self-harm content still shows up on the platform in six months, and he replied: ‘I will certainly have a long thought about how well I am doing in the role that I’m in.’
Health Secretary Matt Hancock will also meet Instagram officials on Thursday to understand how it is tackling harmful online content.