Instagram planning to combat online bullying with two new features

Instragram restrict

InstagramScreenshots shared by Instagram showing how ‘Restrict’ will work

Users who do not want to use the existing "limited comment" function that restricts commenting to a selected group of friends will now effectively be able to determine who posts on their supposedly public posts by controlling whose posts can be seen by anybody.

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.

The new feature allows users to review comments and decide their visibility before they're displayed.

So, I'm glad to see that Instagram is taking steps and finding new ways to put an end to reduce online bullying.

Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook's COO, addressed the new features in an Instagram post of her own.

"You can choose to make a restricted person's comments visible to others by approving their comments", Mr Mosseri added.

Instagram is inviting users to think again before posting unkind comments with a new tool created to curb bullying on the social media platform.

The company said it has used artificial intelligence to monitor bullying and harmful content for years, and will now use the technology to detect when a user is about to post something offensive and issue a warning.

You'd think that someone who is spiteful enough to type something offensive would just go ahead and post it and ignore the "undo" prompt, however, Instagram head Adam Mosseri says in the official Instagram blog, that in early tests, his team found that the prompt "encourages some people to undo their comment and share something less hurtful once they have had a chance to reflect".

Facebook adopted a suite of antibullying features on its platform in October, allowing users to delete and hide comments on posts en masse.

Instagram said often people don't block, unfollow, or report their bullies, because "it could escalate the situation".

In addition to that, Instagram has already put an offensive comment filter in place that automatically screens bullying comments concerning a person's appearance, or even threats to a person.

The next feature is going to be way more useful, though.

Testing will soon begin on the feature, which is called Restrict. "Some of these actions also make it hard for a target to keep track of their bully's behaviour".

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