Like the real world, social networks must be cautious when it comes to self-harming content. On the one hand, it may be useful to allow people to openly discuss the struggle between family members, friends and other groups against suicide. On the other hand, scientific research shows that suicide may be contagious, and cluster suicide outbreaks are real phenomena.
With its updated policy, Facebook aims to prevent more harmful suicide images and content from spreading. It has changed the policy on self-harm images and no longer allows users to publish self-harm images and photos, which may unintentionally promote or trigger self-harm.
Facebook has tightened its policy on eating disorders in its applications to prevent the expansion of content that could lead to eating disorders. The content focuses on depicting ribs, neck, thigh space, depressed stomach or protruding spine or scapula. It will also prohibit the dissemination of content containing serious and unhealthy weight loss.
Facebook's policy changes apply to users in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, Brazil, Bulgaria, India, Mexico, the Philippines and Thailand.