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Instagram Criticized for Platform's 'Dangerous' Eating Disorder Hashtags

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Instagram - Sputnik International
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The photo-sharing social media giant has said it is working hard to improve its artificial intelligence (AI) system to counter material promoting eating disorders.

Instagram users have unleashed a wave of criticism at the social media company for not doing enough to tackle content promoting eating disorders, with numerous hashtags which should be accompanied by warnings going undetected by its AI.

READ MORE: Eating Disorders Specialist: 20% of People With Anorexia Die, That’s Staggering

Daniel Magson, vice chair of the Anorexia & Bulimia Care charity, told Sky News that Instagram and other platforms need to do more to protect users from such “incredibly dangerous” content.

Describing it as a “real health risk”, Mr. Magson, who himself is a former bulimic, said "It's not a safe space at all and these communities are promoting things like 'these are the best places to dine with private toilets for afterwards.”

“They promote the best ways to injure or self-harm and that should not be allowed,” he added.

With 7,500 content reviewers, Instagram has said it is working in conjunction with a network of charities to identify and restrict hashtags promoting “dangerous practices”, saying they only directly intervene when absolutely necessary as they don’t want to be perceived as censoring content.

Some took to Twitter to echo calls for Instagram to adopt a more interventionist approach, while others said people should ultimately take responsibility for themselves.

Other social media platforms have also been labelled as dangerous for putting users, particularly youths, under pressure, but a survey carried out earlier this year found Instagram to be causing the most damage.

READ MORE: From Canadian Babe to Icelandic Beauties: Top 10 of Instagram Fitness Goddesses

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