Instagram Content Moderation in Pro-Eating Disorder Communities

Faculty: Munmun De Choudhury
Students: Stevie Chancellor

Research Focus: Social Computing

Instagram Content Moderation in Pro-Eating Disorder Communities

The existence of pro-eating disorder (pro-ED) communities has challenged many social media platforms, such as Instagram. These communities promote the adoption and progression of eating disorders, which are known to have negative impacts on health. Instagram has reacted by banning searches on several pro-ED tags as well as issuing content advisories on others. In response, the pro-ED community has adopted non-standard lexical variations of these moderated tags to circumvent restrictions. This research investigates the impacts of Instagram banning tags on the community. Our work analyzes how the pro-ED community changes what tags it uses to avoid detection, what topics are discussed before and after banning, and what intervention and design strategies can be taken to assist these populations.

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