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Molly Russell, 14, took her life in November 2017.

“I have been deeply moved by the tragic stories that have come to light this past month of Molly Russell and other families affected by suicide and self-harm,” wrote Instagram chief executive Adam Mosseri in a Telegraph op-ed today. “Even as a parent, I cannot begin to imagine what these families are going through and my thoughts go out to them.”

With those words, Instagram began its announcement of new features to make it a little harder for users to view images of self-harm, which he says will help protect children and teens who use the social media app.

Instagram plans to introduce “sensitivity screens” to hide such images, which sounds like a euphemism for a blur “layer” the user has to click through to get to the provocative content.

Mosseri took over Instagram after the company founders left suddenly in 2018.

Molly Russell was a British teen whose parents say she killed herself after being exposed to graphic images of self-harm and suicide on social media, specifically Instagram and Pinterest.

Instagram now also blocks images of cutting from showing up in search, hashtags or account suggestions.

Mosseri says this makes it harder for would-be self-harmers to get to the triggering stuff.

From the Guardian:

The company is also investing in “engineers and trained content reviewers”, who are working “around the clock to make it harder for people to find self-harm images”, Mosseri said in a comment piece for the Telegraph newspaper.

Mosseri also committed to “better support people who post images indicating they might be struggling with self-harm or suicide”.

“We already offer resources to people who search for hashtags, but we are working on more ways to help, such as connecting them with organisations we work with like Papyrus and Samaritans,” he said.

Here’s the original piece at The Telegraph, but it’s blocked by a paywall.



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