New Instagram tool helps users to look out for their friends

27 Oct 2016 Becca Cawthorne

Instagram have released a new tool which allows users to report when they’re concerned by something a friend has posted on the site. Instagram are hoping that this will make their platform a safer place for users.

Anonymously report someone you’re concerned about

The new tool means that if you see a friend posting about suicide or self-harm on Instagram you can anonymously report it to the site. By reporting the content Instagram will know to reach out to that person.

The person who you report will receive a message from Instagram saying: “Someone saw one of your posts and thinks you might be going through a difficult time. If you need support, we’d like to help.” The Instagram app will then direct them to different support networks, these include a helpline (which will vary by the user’s location), encourage them to talk to a friend, or will give advice on getting help and support.

Support pages associated with hashtags

Some harmful hashtags are already banned from Instagram altogether, including those associated with encouraging eating disorders.

Instagram also has a new tool that can offer people help if they search for a hashtag which may not be banned but still could be harmful. If they type in one of these hashtags they will be taken to a support page before they are shown any content.

The company worked with mental health experts and groups like the National Eating Disorders Association and The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, as well as people with experience with eating disorders, self-harm or suicide, to design the support and advice.

For more information on how to report content on instagram visit

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