MSNBC reports that on April 23, the social networking website Instagram unveiled new community guidelines that prohibit the promotion of self-harm. A lot of hashtags have been trending that are promoting suicide, bulimia, anorexia, and cutting, which have spurred debate within the online community. Any user that is found to be promoting self-harm will have their account banned without warning, and any user searching for certain terms will be directed towards support groups. As a 24-year-old woman who suffered from anorexia in my teenage years, here is why this is a positive change for Instagram. You know more about it look at here now. You get all the latest Instagram guidelines here. You can even learn more about Instagram marketing tips and tools that you can use to promote yourself.
One of the biggest reasons why this change was needed is because of the tremendous pressure that there is on younger people, and social networking websites do not need to add fuel to that fire. Younger people are pressured every day to look their best, be a certain weight, and act a certain way, and the Internet just feeds off of insecurities that people feel all the time. Instagram did have a lot of hashtags that promoted cutting or being anorexic, which might make younger people think that self-harm is tolerated when in reality, it is a sign of a psychological condition. Although you are supposed to be at least 13 on most social networking websites, a lot of children younger than that are creating accounts, and seeing these topics being promoted really just sends a mixed message to our youth.
Bullying has also become a huge issue for teenagers today, and social networking websites often help feed this behavior. If you participate on Instagram with people you know, it is possible that bullies could use the promotion of self-harm to harass you into committing suicide. Teenagers should not have to worry about someone posting their picture up on Instagram with the hashtag to promote suicide or anorexia, because this can lead to feelings of worthlessness for those being singled out. Although I believe that you should never let something said online ruin your life or make you want to commit suicide, sometimes younger teenagers are unable to just disconnect from the Internet that easily.
It is great that anyone caught promoting self-harm will have their account banned without warning because it is the only way that people will stop doing such things, although it would still be possible for someone to just create a new account if that happened. Putting links to support groups up instead is a very good way to reach young people because they might feel ashamed to talk about self-harm with an adult. As social media becomes more popular among teenagers, it is important to have these guidelines that prohibit certain acts, since teenagers are indeed very impressionable. The only positive thing about self-harm topics being brought up in this manner is that it got the word out about such a serious issue, which could initiate conversations between teenagers and parents.