Instagram is doing its part to fight bullies with the addition of anti-bullying features. Designed to spread kindness, the update is the first under the platform’s new head, Adam Mosseri.
Recently, Mosseri announced that Instagram will be employing machine learning to detect cyberbullying in photos, captions, and comments on the platform.
Last May, Instagram rolled out a bullying comment filter to identify and remove unwelcome comments from posts. The most recent update expands this filter to detect and hide malicious messages in photos, captions, and comments on live videos as well. These new features aim to close any loopholes allowing trolls to post screenshots and images of threatening speech in order to bypass the app’s anti-bullying text filter. Instagram’s anti-bullying algorithm will flag threatening comments and send them to Instagram’s community operations team for final review.
The new filter has begun rolling out globally as a default setting; meaning if you do not wish to apply the filter to your account, you will need to manually disable it in your settings.
In addition to the machine learning technology, the former head of Facebook’s News Feed revealed an additional measure to encourage positivity. “While stopping bullies is important, we must also do more to celebrate and inspire kindness on Instagram,” Mosseri explained. The Kindness Camera Effect, in collaboration with dancer and anti-bullying champion Maddie Ziegler, is a filter designed to encourage positive interactions on the app. When set to the rear-facing camera, the filter displays kind words in different languages. In selfie mode, the filter invites users to tag someone they support — as the screen is flooded with heart emojis. Users must follow Maddie (@maddieziegler) to enable the filter.
Instagram is an incredible vehicle for socialization and self-expression. However, the inception of social media has made it easier for bullies to send harmful messages anonymously. And for young people growing up in the digital age, it can be incredibly hard to unplug.
We anticipate that Instagram will develop more updates to tackle cyberbullying. We are pleased with the platform’s proactive commitment to making the app an inclusive and safe place for all users.
Until then, choose kindness and uplift one another.