Facebook’s controversial “Instagram for kids” got under the spotlight again. The company’s own internal report has shown that Instagram has been causing mental-health problems in teenagers, especially girls, including even suicidal thoughts. After the report has leaked, Democratic lawmakers have started calling on Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg again to drop the project.
As a part of its efforts to create a safer and more pleasant environment for its users, Instagram has expanded the ban on self-harm and suicide-related content. From now on, the platform bans drawings, memes, and comics containing this kind of content. Bits from films or cartoons are also banned. And even images that don’t show self-harm or suicide directly, but are associated with it.
A 16-year-old girl in Malaysia took her own life on Tuesday after conducting an Instagram poll to decide whether she should live or die. Reportedly, 69% of people had voted for “die,” which reportedly prompted the teen to end her life.
“I was constantly in search of taking the perfect selfie and when I realized I couldn’t I wanted to die.”
19 year Danny Bowman said these words to a reporter for the Daily Mirror. According to the story, he spent ten hours a day taking about 200 snaps of himself with his iPhone. He would take restroom breaks from his classes to go and try taking pictures there. And then in December 2012, after so much dissatisfaction from how his pictures turned out, he took an overdose of meds and attempted suicide.