PHOENIX — Instagram has announced two new features that will help to combat online bullying on the app on Monday.
The first feature, a tool powered by artificial intelligence, notifies users when their comment is perceived as offensive or inappropriate. This encourages the commenter to reflect on their words and make changes that will reduce harm to others.
Instagram has found that the bully-preventing tool has shown some success in coaxing these social media trolls (people who upset others online by their comments) to undo or improve their comment.
While you would think that those being bullied on social media would take action by blocking, unfollowing or reporting their bully, Instagram has found that this isn’t always the case.
The photo and video-sharing social media site has found that taking action against bullies could escalate the situation, especially in circumstances where the users interact in real life. So, Instagram worked to create another feature that allows Instagrammers to protect themselves from undesirable interactions.
So how does it work?
Named Restrict, the second feature enables you to control your own Instaworld by silencing specific people who may be causing you harm. When you Restrict a user, the comments made by that person will only be visible to them and only them. This way, you will no longer receive the notification or have visibility of the hurtful comment.
However, Instagram users have the option to make the Restricted user’s comments visible to others. On your account, you can now choose to approve the restricted user’s comment in order to allow visibility.
Once restricted, those users are no longer able to see when you are active on the site or when you have read direct messages from them.
One billion people actively use Instagram each month, but not all users are respectful on the widely-adored app. That’s why Instagram is trying to create a safe social networking space that is comfortable and fun to use for its large number of users.
“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.”