Social Media

Instagram announces a new way to combat bullying on the platform

Could the network finally be taking its responsibility seriously?

Instagram has announced new features to help combat online bullying on its platform.

The company is rolling out a new artificial intelligence feature that tells users when presses send on a post the platform thinks is offensive.

Instagram is also planning to test a new way for users to restrict who can comment on their posts, and who can see their comments.

“We can do more to prevent bullying from happening on Instagram, and we can do more to empower the targets of bullying to stand up for themselves,” Head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri said on the social network’s website yesterday.

“Today we’re announcing one new feature in both areas. These tools are grounded in a deep understanding of how people bully each other and how they respond to bullying on Instagram, but they’re only two steps on a longer path.”

The first new tool warns users that their comment could be offensive, giving them an opportunity to reflect on what they’ve said before their comment goes live.

“In the last few days, we started rolling out a new feature powered by AI that notifies people when their comment may be considered offensive before it’s posted. This intervention gives people a chance to reflect and undo their comment and prevents the recipient from receiving the harmful comment notification,” the company added.

“From early tests of this feature, we have found that it encourages some people to undo their comment and share something less hurtful once they have had a chance to reflect.”

New restrictions for bullies

Instagram is also testing a new restriction tool, allowing young people to prevent a user from commenting on their images or having their comments and interactions hidden from others.

“While identifying and removing bullying on Instagram is important, we also need to empower our community to stand up to this kind of behavior. We’ve heard from young people in our community that they’re reluctant to block, unfollow, or report their bully because it could escalate the situation, especially if they interact with their bully in real life. Some of these actions also make it difficult for a target to keep track of their bully’s behavior.”

“Once you Restrict someone, comments on your posts from that person will only be visible to that person. You can choose to make a restricted person’s comments visible to others by approving their comments. Restricted people won’t be able to see when you’re active on Instagram or when you’ve read their direct messages.”

What are your thoughts on Instagram’s new features? Do you think the social network is doing enough to prevent online bullying? Let us know on Twitter using @AppleMagazine.

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