Instagram is cracking down on trolls with a new anti-bullying feature

10 July 2019, 17:18

A person poses with an iPhone displaying the Instagram logo/Instagram screenshots
A person poses with an iPhone displaying the Instagram logo/Instagram screenshots. Picture: Getty/Instagram
Jazmin Duribe

By Jazmin Duribe

It's hoped that the new measures will drastically reduce trolling on the platform.

Instagram is cracking down on online bullying by introducing a new tool that makes trolls question their hateful comments. Trolling is currently a huge problem on social media especially among teens and young people, and it's hoped that with a few changes Instagram will become a lot less toxic.

On July 8, Instagram revealed that they will use artificial intelligence to recognise the type of comments that are usually reported as inappropriate. For example, if a person posts "you are ugly and stupid" in the comment section of someone else's post, they'll receive a notification asking: "Are you sure you want to post this? Learn more."

The 'hat clasp' pose is the latest Instagram trend taking over summer
If the user decides that they would like to learn more, they'll receive a message that reads: "We are asking people to rethink comments that seem similar to others that have been reported."

Content Warning.
Content Warning. Picture: Instagram

Of course, it's very possible that the person can bypass the "Learn More" button and just post the comment anyway. However, Instagram claims to have found that it encourages people to alter their comment and post something nicer once they have had a chance to think about it.

Another method being used to shutdown online hate is a tool called Restrict. The social media platform claims that new measure will help filter abusive comments without having to block the user, which can sometimes result in even worse bullying IRL.

"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 Instagram chief executive Adam Mosseri. "Some of these actions also make it difficult for a target to keep track of their bully’s behaviour."

Restrict. Picture: Instagram

When that person has been restricted, the comment will only appear to them. That means it won't show up on the post for your other followers (or members of the public, depending on your privacy settings) can see. The user will also not know that they have been restricted.

The new feature has already started rolling out so lets hope it makes Instagram becomes a much more pleasant place to be.

Mosseri continued: "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. I look forward to sharing more updates soon."


What do you think? Will it work? Tweet us @popbuzz and let us know!