To address the ever present issue of bullying online Instagram will be introducing a number of new features to its service.
The first of these new features hopes to encourage users to perhaps reconsider posting a mean comment.
“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,” head of Instagram Adam Mosseri wrote in an update.
While folks could simply ignore that notification, Instagram says that early tests have revealed that folks have edited their comments to be less hurtful “once they have had a chance to reflect”.
Helping you address bullies
In addition to the AI urging folks to be nicer, Instagram will begin giving users the ability to restrict what comments they see from certain users.
The feature – called Restrict – will allow a user to make another user’s comments visibly to just that user. You will of course be able to make these comments visible to other users by approving the comment.
Why not block the person? Well Instagram says that blocking a person outright isn’t always an option.
“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. Some of these actions also make it difficult for a target to keep track of their bully’s behavior,” wrote Mosseri.
Restricted users will also not be able to see when you’re online or when you’ve read messages from them.
“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,” said Mosseri.