Facebook had previously allowed such images if these were uploaded in the context of admissions of self-harm, supposedly to enable friends and family to have an opportunity to reach out, offer support and provide help or resources.
AFP
Facebook banning self-harm photos
Janvic Mateo (The Philippine Star) - February 20, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Graphic cutting images will no longer be allowed on Facebook and Instagram as part of the social media company’s efforts to protect its users from self-harm and suicide.

Antigone Davis, Facebook’s global head of safety, said they will implement the new policy in the coming weeks following consultation with experts in different countries.

“These experts unanimously reaffirmed that Facebook should allow people to share admissions of self-harm and suicidal thoughts, but should not allow people to share content promoting it,” she said.

 “But the experts also advised that some graphic images of self-harm, particularly cutting, can have the potential to unintentionally promote self-harm even when they are shared in the context of admission or a path to recovery,” she added.

Facebook had previously allowed such images if these were uploaded in the context of admissions of self-harm, supposedly to enable friends and family to have an opportunity to reach out, offer support and provide help or resources.

The company, however, admitted the need to continuously re-examine its policies, noting that the objective of allowing people to get help and share paths to recovery may sometimes be at odds with efforts to prevent self-harm and suicide.

Davis said the experts they consulted, including Norie Balderrama of the Child Protection Unit of the Philippine General Hospital, noted that other kinds of content such as healed cutting scars might unintentionally promote self-harm. 

“This is an area where there is incomplete and sometimes competing research and the experts suggested that we continue to monitor the latest findings. We’ll do so as we continue discussions around this topic,” said the Facebook official.

“The experts emphasized the importance of building products that facilitate supportive connections, finding more opportunities to offer help and resources and, more importantly, avoid shaming people who post about their self-harm thoughts or actions,” she added.

Facebook vowed to provide resources, including messages with links to helplines, and explore additional steps or products to address the matter.

FACEBOOK SELF-HARM AND SUICIDE
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