With the exponential growth of social media platforms, online bullying has also grown tremendously which is a challenge many people face while they are online. Instagram has been committed to fight against online bullying, and the company is now rethinking the whole experience of Instagram to meet that commitment.
Instagram say the company could do more to prevent bullying from happening on Instagram and can also do more to empower the targets of bullying to stand up for themselves. Today, Instagram has announced 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.
Encouraging Positive Interactions
Online bullying is a complex issue. For years now, Instagram uses artificial intelligence to detect bullying and other types of harmful content in comments, photos and videos. In the last few days, the company 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. From early tests of this feature, Instagram found that it encourages some people to undo their comment and share something less hurtful once they have had a chance to reflect.
Protecting your account from unwanted interactions with ‘Restrict’
Instagram has heard from young people in on the platform 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 behaviour.
Soon, Instagram will begin testing a new way to protect your account from unwanted interactions called ‘Restrict.’ 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.