Instagram announced Tuesday the launch of two new anti-bullying features, one that will hide potentially offensive comments from view and another to expand warning messages to users who repeatedly post comments that are reported by others, the latest move by a social media platform to improve moderation of its user-generated content.
- In a blog post, the social media giant shared it had begun testing a new feature that automatically hides comments that have similarities to other comments that have been reported by users.
- They’ll be tucked out of view for anyone viewing the post, though users can choose to see them by tapping a link to “view hidden comments.”
- In a complementary move, Instagram will also alert users who repeatedly try to post comments that may violate the platform’s community guidelines.
- “These new warnings let people take a moment to step back and reflect on their words and lay out the potential consequences should they proceed,” Instagram said in a statement.
- Instagram’s announcement comes on the heels of a new study released Monday that found almost 60% of young women between the ages 15 to 25 say they have been subjected to abuse online.
- Of those, nearly a quarter reported they had been harassed on Instagram.
The announcement of the new anti-bullying measures are the the most recent attempt by a social media company to show the public they are working toward more effectively moderating their content. Facebook, which owns Instagram, has taken heat this year for what critics say are lazy platform policies that allow hate and misinformation to spread. This summer, a group called Stop Hate For Profit launched a boycott of Facebook advertising. Though hundreds of advertisers scaled back their Facebook spending, the financial impact of the campaign was minimal. The same group targeted Instagram last month and recruited stars like Kim Kardashian West to boycott the platform (where Kardashian West has nearly 200 million followers) for a single day to bring attention to the issue. “I love that I can connect directly with you through Instagram and Facebook, but I can’t sit by and stay silent while these platforms continue to allow the spreading of hate, propaganda and misinformation,” Kardashian West said.