Instagram seeks to tackle online bullying

Daniel Fowler
July 10, 2019

So what happens when there are comments that defame or bully these people?

Instagram has announced two new tools with which it aims to combat online bullying - one to prevent bullying, and the other that empowers the targets of bullying. It also hides when the account holder is active on IG or when they have read a DM.

The first new feature, which Instagram said is "powered by AI", notifies users when their comment may be considered offensive - before it's even posted. This gives them a chance to reflect and undo their comment, so the recipient doesn't receive a hateful comment.

Kevin Systrom, Instagram's former chief executive, told The Wall Street Journal in September 2018 that he became concerned with bullying when he was thinking of having children of his own. There is also a similar filter for pictures.

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Instagram hopes this will allow users to think about their interactions before they take place and give them a chance to pick a more positive way of commenting. It is extremely hurtful and we urge our readers to not engage in these kinds of acts as it brings no real benefits.

There have been growing calls around the world for greater oversight of platforms like Facebook and Twitter, amid widespread criticism over bullying, as well as the spread of hate speech and fake news.

"We wanted to create a feature that allows people to control their Instagram experience, without notifying someone who may be targeting them", said Mosseri. "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, the Head of Instagram. "Some of these actions also make it hard for a target to keep track of their bully's behaviour".

They can approve the comment so everyone can see it, delete it so no one can see it, or leave it forever in a pending state: invisible to everyone but the bully, who will have no indication that anything is out of the ordinary. Meanwhile Instagram also announced that it will be showing ads to the Explore tab on its app. Instagram said that it plans to introduce ads "thoughtfully" and that users will have control over what they want to see.

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