Facebook bans self-harm images in fight against suicide

Published: September 11, 2019
Email
PHOTO: REUTERS

PHOTO: REUTERS

Facebook will no longer allow graphic images of self-harm on its platform as it tightens its policies on suicide content amid growing criticism of how social media companies moderate violent and potentially dangerous content.

The social network also said on Tuesday self-injury related content will now become harder to search on Instagram and will ensure that it does not appear as recommended in the Explore section on the photo-sharing app.

Facebook’s statement comes on World Suicide Prevention Day and follows Twitter’s remarks that content related to self-harm will no longer be reported as abusive in an effort to reduce the stigma around suicide.

About 8 million people die due to suicide every year, or one person every 40 seconds, according to a report by the World Health Organisation.

Facebook launches tool to let users control data flow

Facebook has a team of moderators who watch for content such as live broadcasting of violent acts as well as suicides. The company works with at least five outsourcing vendors in at least eight countries on content review, a Reuters tally showed in February.

Governments globally are wrestling over how to better control content on social media platforms, often blamed for encouraging abuse, the spread of online pornography and for influencing or manipulating voters.

Last month Amazon told Reuters that it plans to promote helpline phone numbers to customers who query its site about suicide, after searches on its site suggested users search for nooses and other potentially harmful products.

Amazon to offer help for customers who search about suicide

Alphabet Inc’s Google, Facebook and Twitter have already been issuing helpline numbers in response to user queries involving the term “suicide.”

Facebook Conversations

Leave Your Reply Below

Your comments may appear in The Express Tribune paper. For this reason we encourage you to provide your city. The Express Tribune does not bear any responsibility for user comments.

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive. For more information, please see our Comments FAQ.

More in Technology