Instagram fights online bullying with new pop-up feature

Instagram fights online bullying with new pop-up feature

By Kristelle Bechayda

Instagram is currently working on combating online bullying on its platform, announcing last Monday it will be releasing new features that will include warning users if they are about to post abusive remarks.

“We know bullying is a challenge many face, particularly young people,” said Instagram’s head, Adam Mosseri, in a statement. “We can do more to prevent bullying from happening on Instagram, and we can do more to empower the targets of bullying to stand up for themselves.”

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From the head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri (@mosseri): “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. We can do more to prevent bullying from happening on Instagram, and we can do more to empower the targets of bullying to stand up for themselves. Today we’re announcing one new feature in both areas. 💙 Encouraging Positive Interactions In the last few days, we 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. 🧡 Protecting Your Account From Unwanted Interactions With Restrict We wanted to create a feature that allows people to control their Instagram experience, without notifying someone who may be targeting them. Soon, we will begin testing a new way to protect your account from unwanted interactions called Restrict. 💛 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.” 💗 To learn more about these new updates, click the link in our bio. Artwork by @heysp

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One of the new features being introduced is a pop-up notification generated by artificial intelligence that alerts users if the comment they are about to post might be considered offensive.

Based on earlier tests, Mosseri said this intervention gives people a chance to think about their comment and undo it. “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,” he explained.

On the other hand, another feature called ‘restrict’ that is still being tested enables an abusive comment to be seen only by the user, who can filter the said comment upon his approval.

“We’ve heard from young people in our community 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,” said Mosseri.

This feature also doesn’t allow restricted people to see if the user is active on Instagram or if their messages have been read.

“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.” added Mosseri.

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