Instagram Begins the Process of Bringing its Suicide, Self-Harm Detection Tech to the EU


Instagram will extend initiatives it has used outside of the European Union to proactively detect content related to suicide or self-harm to the EU, head of Instagram Adam Mosseri said in a blog post.

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Mosseri said Instagram is in discussions with regulators and governments in the EU on ways to bring this technology to the region while recognizing each market’s privacy regulations.

From April through June, more than 90% of the suicide and self-harm content that Instagram took action on—including removing the content, connecting the person who posted it with local organizations that may be able to help or, in extreme cases, contacting emergency services—was detected by its own technology before being reported by other users, Mosseri said.

He added that not being able to deploy this technology in the EU has hampered its efforts in that region, but some of it is now beginning to roll out on both Instagram and Facebook.

Mosseri wrote, “We can now look for posts that likely break our rules around suicide and self-harm and make them less visible by automatically removing them from places like Explore. And when our technology is really confident that a post breaks our rules, we can now automatically remove it altogether. This is an important step that will protect more people in the EU. But we want to do a lot more. The next step is using our technology not just to find the content and make it less visible, but to send it to our human reviewers and get people help, like we do everywhere else in the world.”

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