Wednesday, 21 August, 2019

Instagram bullies to be told to rethink abusive comments before posting

Instagram will now ask you to think twice before posting profanities Instagram Announces New Features Designed to Combat Bullying
Ginger Lawrence | 10 July, 2019, 17:14

Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri posted about the upcoming changes on the company's blog. So what happens when there are comments that defame or bully these people?

Yesterday evening, Instagram announced two new anti-bullying features that it's calling "two steps on a longer path" towards "leading the industry in the fight against online bullying".

When it comes to direct messages, the restricted person will still see conversation threads they've had with the user in their main inbox. It also hides when the account holder is active on IG or when they have read a DM. The new feature is powered by Instagram's AI (artificial intelligence) and is meant to notify people when their comment that they want to post may be considered offensive.

"This intervention gives people a chance to reflect and undo their comment and prevents the recipient from receiving the harmful comment notification", Instagram said.

In other words, Instagram's big idea to tackle online bullying is to urge users to self-censor. There is also a similar filter for pictures. So, Instagram has now added two new features, one AI-based and the other relies on users themselves. Once a person has been restricted, their comments on your posts will only be visible only to them, unless you decide to approve the comment and make it visible publicly.

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Previously, users would be hesitant to block, unfollow, or report someone because of fear of encouraging more bullying online or in real life.

"We wanted to create a feature that allows people to control their Instagram experience, without notifying someone who may be targeting them", said Mosseri.

Instagram is rolling out new features to help combat cyberbullying, as the social-media company and its parent, Facebook Inc., work to quell criticism related to harassment on their platforms. "Some of these actions also make it hard for a target to keep track of their bully's behaviour". Posters can "restrict" the accounts of certain users so that comments from those users are visible only to them, not other users.

It's likely that users can still find ways around the AI by using alternative spellings or symbols, which is why Instagram is introducing Restrict - a feature that allows you to essentially shadow ban someone from your account.

Instagram will soon trial a new AI-powered system for dealing with online bullying and abuse.