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Insta's new support feature will help you be a better friend

It's important for friends to look out for one another in all aspects in life. Luckily, Instagram just launched a new tool that allows us to be even more proactive about it.

Here's how it works: If you see one of your friends (or anyone you follow) post something that alludes or outright mentions self-harm (or something else that seems dargerous to their health), you can anonymously flag their post. What flagging does is alert the person who posted it that someone reported their content. Next, the user receives this message: “Someone saw one of your posts and thinks you might be going through a difficult time. If you need support, we’d like to help.” Instagram will then tell the person to contact a friend, offer them the number for helplines and other support advice. Check out screenshots of the support in action below:

Instagram already had some of these measures in place. It provided some helplines and other support methods in the safety guidelines, but users would only find this information if they chose to look, and not everyone who should look at the information chooses to do so. Instagram worked with the National Suicide Prevention Line to add this feature so a user will be aided as soon as a friend flags a worrisome post. 

These flagged posts are monitored by a team around the clock, so the necessary people can be contacted if the team deems the person vulnerable to self-harm. 

If you see a post from your friend that makes you worry for their safety, be sure to flag it. Just knowing that someone is thinking about them can make a world of a difference.

How do you feel about Instagram’s new feature? Tell us about it in the comments!


by Amy Garcia | 10/25/2016