Instagram is introducing new features to help steer those struggling with an eating disorder in the right direction. When someone tries to search for content related to topics such as recovering from an eating disorder, they will first see links to resources that the company has created with the help of the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), as well as links to local helplines at Australia, Canada. and the UK.
Likewise, when someone tries to share such content or if their friends see you post something concerning, they will see the same set of resources. The company will allow people to contact their friends for help from the resource landing page. As before, Instagram will continue to blur content that it thinks may trigger someone with an eating disorder.
The features broadly mirror those that TikTok announced earlier in the day, although in the case of Instagram, it was already prompting users to get more general help ahead of today’s announcement. Pinterest also announced similar measures, saying it would direct its users to NEDA resources, in addition to promoting events and roundtables around National Eating Disorders Awareness Week. For Instagram, this is the third year in a row that the company has partnered with the organization for NEDAwarness Week. The two plan to share reels that will encourage body positivity. Outside of the immediate future, the company says it will continue to work with experts to shape its policy on the subject.
While all social media services struggle with body positivity to some degree, Instagram, as one of the largest social networks on the planet, is in some ways exemplary of the problem. And in that time, the company hasn’t done the best job of supporting those who have tried to spread more inclusive messages about what constitutes a beautiful body.