ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — A disturbing trend is surging on Twitter, with posts related to “self harm” increasing roughly 500% since October.
A new report from the Network Contagion Institute and Rutgers University say a Twitter community is sharing graphic photos of “visible wounds” that young people, in particular, can be particularly vulnerable to.
Despite Twitter rules against the posts, the report says they are growing.
Researchers said Twitter’s algorithm “was steering accounts with child-aged avatars searching the words’ self-harm’ to Twitter users who were sharing photographs and videos of cutting themselves.”
The report also suggested that Twitter is more concentrated on moderating political content that it is missing coded language in tweets, and other posts that claim graphic images show fake blood.
The study also called Twitter an “ongoing, potent accelerator of serious disorders,” saying “if these networks continue to grow unabated on Twitter, so will the risk of increasingly severe or even fatal injuries.”
Twitter has said the company takes the content seriously and is working to build a safer Internet.