Instagram Unveils New Anti-Bullying Features

The social media platform is giving users a chance to think before they post

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Instagram is ramping up its fight against fake information
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By Kayla Kibbe / July 9, 2019 1:55 pm

As social media platforms continue to attract criticism for perpetuating a number of social problems, Instagram is taking steps to address its bullying and harassment issues.

The photo-sharing app announced Monday that it is rolling out new features to combat online bullying, Time reported. Instagram’s new measures include the “Restrict” feature, which allows users to limit their engagement with other users who are targeting them without their knowledge. Users who restrict another poster will be able to discreetly approve or hide that poster’s comments.

The platform is also adding another new feature that will warn users before they are about to post potentially offensive content. The new feature uses artificial intelligence to detect offensive language in a post and then prompt the user to reconsider posting.

“This intervention gives people a chance to reflect and undo their comment and prevents the recipient from receiving the harmful comment notification,” said Instagram chief Adam Mosseri in a blog post Monday. According to Mosseri, the company’s early tests found that some users did change their comments in response to the prompt.

As Time noted, the platform has to be careful not to restrict free speech with its new anti-harassment features. “I do worry that if we’re not careful, we might overstep,” Mosseri told the outlet. However, Mosseri also stated that the platform “will make decisions that mean people use Instagram less if it keeps people more safe.”

“It’s our responsibility to create a safe environment on Instagram,” Mosseri said in Monday’s blog post. “This has been an important priority for us for some time, and we are continuing to invest in better understanding and tackling this problem.”

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