Instagram rolls out new anti-bullying feature called 'restrict'
Instagram has just shown the world that it takes online bullying very seriously with its latest update. The company's new feature 'Restrict' will use artificial intelligence to highlight abusive comments and so much more.
Instagram head Adam Mosseri said in the announcement: “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. These tools are grounded in a deep understanding of how people bully each other and how they respond to bullying on Instagram, but they’re only two steps on a longer path.”
In a first, Instagram will also show viewers posting a potentially abusive comment a pop up with the message "Are you sure you want to post this?"
"This intervention gives people a chance to reflect and undo their comment and prevents the recipient from receiving the harmful comment notification," Mosseri said.
"From early tests of this feature, 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."
Online bullying has seen an unprecedented rise in the last decade with the rise of platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Another feature Instagram is testing out is a "shadow ban" of sorts. Affected users will be able to put their bully on a 'restrict' list that will allow them to review the comment posted by the person and will not be able to see if the user is online or has read their posts.
The way the comment review feature will work is that users will be able to approve the content for visibility delete it, or leave it pending so it’s invisible to everyone except the offender.
"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," he added.
Given the anonymity of the Internet, many cyber bullies hide behind anonymous profiles in order to inflict hurtful comments on their victims.
Given statistics from the Cyberbullying Research Center thats said that cyber bullying victims are more likely to have low self esteem and to consider suicide, this new update from Instagram could not have come at a better time.
The 'Restrict' feature is still being tested.