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Instagram is rolling out two new tools designed to combat online bullying on its platform. One uses AI to warn people that their comment may be offensive, and the other lets users effectively shadow ban anyone that they no longer want to interact with.
Instagram Is a Platform for Bullies
Bullying is a particular problem online, and Instagram is one of the platforms people use to bully others. Things are particularly bad on Instagram thanks to its younger demographic, which is why Instagram is keen to do everything it can to combat the problem.
Instagram has already taken steps to prevent cyberbullying occurring on its platform. And Instagram launched a parent’s guide to Instagram designed to help parents and children alike understand how bad behavior can be discouraged.
How to Prevent Bullying on Instagram
Now, Instagram is upping the ante with two new tools designed to prevent online bullying. In a post on the Instagram Blog, Adam Mosseri, the Head of Instagram, explains how these tools work. And while they’re not perfect, they should have a positive impact.
The first tool is designed to encourage positive interactions. Instagram already uses AI to detect bullying and other harmful content after it has been posted. But now, Instagram will use AI to detect potentially offensive comments even before they’re posted.
The person posting the comment will see a message asking them if they’re sure they want to post the comment. The idea is to shame people into being nicer in the hopes that they’ll undo their comment and post something nicer instead.
— Instagram (@instagram) July 8, 2019
The second tool is called Restrict, which helps you protect your Instagram account when you’re being bullied. Restricting someone means only they will be able to see their comments on your posts. They also won’t know when you’re active on Instagram.
Restrict is designed to help people who are afraid of blocking, unfollowing, or reporting someone in case it escalates the situation. Which can be especially bad if the person bullying you is someone you know in real life.
What to Do When You Get Harassed Online
The warnings to post something nicer are rolling out now, with Restrict being rolled out in the coming months. These new tools should help make Instagram a nicer platform for everyone. However, beyond Instagram, here’s what to do when you get harassed online.