Content Warning: This article about Instagram discusses eating disorders. If you or someone you know is affected by the following story, you are not alone. To speak to someone, you can call The Butterfly Foundation on 1800 33 4673, or chat online.
As per their latest blog post, Instagram are making moves as part of National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, announcing that they are introducing new ways to support people on the platform who may be affected by negative body image or an eating disorder.
Via the blog post, they announced that they are going to be doing so in three key ways. “Including surfacing more expert-backed resources when people search for eating disorder-related content, expanding our work with experts to help inform our policies, and collaborating with community leaders to help them create and share positive, inspiring body image content.”
Instagram also acknowledge the power of the social media tool in allowing users to share their personal stories and experiences.
And on the flip-side, how this can be triggering for so many.
They’ve said, “To address this, when someone tries to search for or share self-harm related content, we currently blur potentially triggering images and point people to helpful resources.”
They add, “However, we’ve heard from experts that we would support people more if we made available dedicated resources to cope with eating disorders or body dissatisfaction, which is why we are introducing new resources specific to body image issues.”
That’s why, when it comes to search terms which relate to eating disorders, they’re going to prioritise sharing the resources before the results.
In Australia, the resource includes the contact for The Butterfly Foundation – and equivalents in the US, UK, Canada and so on.
On the content front, Instagram intend to focus on sharing inspiring content from community leaders. An example of this is their plan to share Reels which encourage positive body image, push back against weight stigma and harmful stereotypes, and show that all bodies are worthy and deserve to be celebrated.