As we all probably know there is a lot of content on the internet that could be marked as inappropriate. This includes various mental health-related images.
Some social media platforms started banning content that refers to self-harm or suicide. Instagram, one of the most popular social media apps, is one of them. As stated on Cnet, “the photo-sharing app will no longer allow fictional depictions of such actions, including drawings, memes and graphic images from films or comics. It’s also pulling down other images that may not depict self-harm or suicide but includes “associated materials or methods””. The app took it a step further and as said on Cnet “accounts sharing this type of content won’t be recommended in search or other parts of the app”.
However, Instagram is not the only social media platform that decided to impose a ban on potentially harmful content. According to AI News, Pinterest, a popular social media page, “announced on World Mental Health Day that it’s reduced self-harm content by 88 percent over the past year using AI”. So how did they manage to do it? As stated on The Next Web “Pinterest announced in a blog post that for the past year, it’s been using machine learning techniques to identify and automatically hide content that displays, rationalizes, or encourages self-injury”. Moreover, it is continued with the fact that they are “now able to remove harmful content three times faster than ever before”.
In my opinion, it is crucial that we fight with harmful content on the internet as nowadays people spend more and more of their free time on social media. It is important to remember that self-harm content can not only be triggering for those who struggle with mental health issues but it can also encourage people to engage in self-destructive behaviors. Therefore, I find it very pleasing to see that artificial intelligence can help with detecting unhealthy content.