Instagram introduce two new features to prevent online bullying

9 July 2019, 14:36

Instagram is taking responsibility for content shared on its platform
Instagram is taking responsibility for content shared on its platform. Picture: Getty

Instagram is tackling online bullying with a brand new feature that flags offensive comments

Instagram is introducing a new feature that will challenge users before they post offensive comments in a bid to tackle online bullying.

The Facebook-owned social media platform will also allow victims to secretly block their trolls.

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Users will be notified when Instagram's algorithms sense that what they are about to post might be deemed offensive. They will be asked 'Are you sure you want to post this?' before their comment is sent.

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From the head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri (@mosseri): “We know bullying is a challenge many face, particularly young people. We are committed to leading the industry in the fight against online bullying, and we are rethinking the whole experience of Instagram to meet that commitment. 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. Today we’re announcing one new feature in both areas. 💙 Encouraging Positive Interactions 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. 🧡 Protecting Your Account From Unwanted Interactions With Restrict We wanted to create a feature that allows people to control their Instagram experience, without notifying someone who may be targeting them. Soon, we will begin testing a new way to protect your account from unwanted interactions called Restrict. 💛 It’s our responsibility to create a safe environment on Instagram. This has been an important priority for us for some time, and we are continuing to invest in better understanding and tackling this problem.” 💗 To learn more about these new updates, click the link in our bio. Artwork by @heysp

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The new regulations come as the government takes steps to make social media platforms responsible for harmful material shared by their users.

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Instagram said: "This intervention gives people a chance to reflect and undo their comment and prevents the recipient from receiving the harmful comment notification.

"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."

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And speaking about users' new ability to secretly block bullies, the company added: "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."