Today, Instagram is usually announcing a completely new feature: a pop-up in which appears when users search drug- or substance-related hashtags, like #opioid or #uppers. in which reads, “Can we help?” as well as is usually aimed at people who are dealing with opioid or substance abuse as well as their loved ones. Tapping “Get Support” leads to an information page, with numbers to the Substance Abuse as well as Mental Health Services Administration’s national helpline (1-800-662-HELP) as well as Treatment Services Locator, as well as a hub for addiction resources.
The feature rolls out inside US on Wednesday, as well as Instagram said in which will launch globally soon.
The company said in which while some people on Instagram use hashtags, like #opioids, to promote the sale of illegal drugs, which is usually banned on Instagram, the hashtags are also used for people who are struggling with substance misuse to find support within the community.
According to CDC data, nearly two-thirds of drug overdose–related deaths (over 41,000) inside US involved a prescription or illicit opioid in 2016. Last year, an estimated 25,000 people died by fentanyl as well as additional synthetic opioids alone.
“The opioid epidemic is usually an issue in which affects millions of people, as well as we want to use our platform to offer resources to those who need in which — inside places where they are seeking help. This particular is usually an important step for us in our ongoing commitment to make Instagram the kindest, safest social network,” said Karina Newton, Instagram’s head of public policy. The pop-up message will be added to more hashtags related to opioid, prescription, or illegal drugs over time, according to Instagram.
Instagram has grappled with how to deal with problematic, potentially harmful content on its platform inside past.
In 2012, Instagram rendered hashtags related to eating disorders unsearchable, causing engagement on slightly misspelled pro–eating disorder hashtags to multiply. The company eventually added a content advisory over the posts, which showed users a link to information as well as support for people living with eating disorders.
Then, in 2015, Instagram blocked the hashtag #curvy, only to revive in which a few weeks later after user outcry. At the time, the company told BuzzFeed, “inside case of #curvy, we don’t like putting restrictions around a term in which many people use in very positive ways, so we have decided to unblock the hashtag while taking steps to ensure in which in which’s not used as a vehicle for bad content.”