With Instagram being one of the most popular social networks for young people, it’s also a natural source of online bullying. Now, Instagram has announced new tools rolling out to fight online bullying.
“Our mission is to connect you with the people and things you love, which only works if people feel comfortable expressing themselves on Instagram. 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,” said Instagram in a press release.
A new feature powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) will now inform bullies their mean comments may be seen as offensive, prior to posting. A pop up will notify, “Keeping Instagram a Supportive Place,” when someone tries to say something hurtful.
“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,” said Instagram on the new feature.
Another feature called Restrict will let Instagram users block a hurtful comment published from public view, to be only seen by the bully posting it. Restricted people and their mean comments will require approving, while they also won’t know if the person restricting them is online or have read their direct messages.
The rationale is to prevent online bullies from knowing they have become Restricted, preventing possible retaliation in real life for those who interact with hurtful people in day-to-day life.
“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,” said Adam Mosseri, Head of Instagram.