Instagram has always been a service where people from all over the world can share their photos with friends and family, and it is a great place for users with common interests to come together to share and discuss personal content. In order to maintain a positive and healthy community, our current Community Guidelines prohibit content and behavior that negatively impacts our community. Like many other content-based community sites, Instagram has decided to take action to promote a positive and healthy community by creating a policy against content that actively promotes self-harm.

Going forward, we won’t allow accounts, images, or hashtags dedicated to glorifying, promoting, or encouraging self-harm. Should users come across content of that nature, we recommend flagging the photo or flagging the user as a “Terms of Service” violation for our Support team to review.

It is important to note that this guideline does not extend to accounts created to constructively discuss, or document personal experiences that show any form of self-harm where the intention is recovery or open discussion. While we strongly encourage people to seek help for themselves or loved ones who are suffering, we understand the importance of communication as a form of support, in order to create awareness and to assist in recovery.

The language we have added to our Community Guidelines can be found below:

Don’t promote or glorify self-harm: While Instagram is a place where people can share their lives with others through photographs, any account found encouraging or urging users to embrace anorexia, bulimia, or other eating disorders; or to cut, harm themselves, or commit suicide will result in a disabled account without warning. We believe that communication regarding these behaviors in order to create awareness, come together for support and to facilitate recovery is important, but that Instagram is not the place for active promotion or glorification of self-harm.

In addition to these Guideline changes, hashtags that actively promote self-harm, such as “thinspiration,” “probulimia,” and “proanorexia,” are no longer searchable. In a future release of the Instagram application, hashtags that are associated with self-harm, but are not necessarily utilized to promote, will show the following notice prior to the associated content becoming visible:

Suicide & Self-harm:

Please be advised: These images may contain graphic content.

For information and support with suicide or self-harm, visit befrienders.org.

Eating Disorders:

Please be advised: These images may contain graphic content.

For information and support with eating disorders, visit nationaleatingdisorders.org.

These notices will provide those searching for, or navigating to, these hashtag pages resources in order to seek help, as well as the ability to choose to either view or navigate away from the associated content.

We’d like your feedback regarding these changes. If you have any comments or suggestions, please send us an email.