If you search ‘horror’ on Instagram using the magnifying glass tab below (Search feature) and click on the tag- #horror , you will get a message saying- “Can We Help?– Posts with words or tags you’re searching for often encourage behavior that can cause harm and even lead to death. If you’re going through something difficult, we’d like to help”. Following screenshots of the mobile app will make things more clear:-
Perhaps, Instagram has wrongly classified the ‘horror’ tag as suicide inducing tag…
Besides being bothersome, this might even hinder the reach of posts for horror genre fans and media like EHpodcasts will have a harder time getting promoted on Instagram. Other tags like #Horrorfan, #Horrormovies etc don’t trigger this warning though.
Instagram has made strict rules about content that promotes or resembles self-harm or suicide. This is after the unfortunate incident in November 2017 when a 14 year old girl named Molly Russell took her own life after frequently viewing material on Instagram linked to anxiety, depression, self-harm and suicide (Read more about it in the Sun UK, article here)
In an article by Viral Thread website, they show sample Instagram posts which are suicide inducing but there’s no #horror tag used by such sad posts (Viral Thread article source)
While it is appreciated that Instagram is trying to reduce content that promotes harmful trends like self-harm, food disorders, etc. but because the #horror tag shows such suicide message, it could send a wrong message that everything related to the horror genre induces suicide or self-harm. Such misunderstanding can damage the reputation of everything related to the horror genre in the same way Grand Theft Auto games were accused of influencing gun violence (An article by Daily Mail, UK blaming GTA CoD & Manhunt for real life violence)
It is possible that it could be a bug. Another possibility is that since some horror game covers like Dead Island have shown a noose and Conjuring 1 movie poster had a noose, perhaps a person who never heard of Dead Island and Conjuring reported the images as suicide inducing?
Automation could be a reason too. Perhaps like YouTube’s content moderation algorithm, the robots and algorithm of Instagram has auto-classified the #horror tag as suicidal?
I wonder how Instagram would classify these brands with ‘suicide’ in their name…..
What are your thoughts on this? Please let us know by posting your comment below. Please share this with as many Instagram users who are also horror fans to spread awareness about this issue!
Here’s our 100th Podcast episode where we discuss the horror and mental health-
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