Instagram Is Launching Two New Features To Fight Cyberbullies

BY Ayesha Sohail Shehmir Shaikh / Jul 21 2019 / 18:29 PM

The photo-sharing app is giving you all the control

Instagram Is Launching Two New Features To Fight Cyberbullies
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In a bid to preserve a safe environment on social media, Instagram is adding two new features to fight back against cyberbullying. Unlike the block option, ‘Restrict’, will still allow users to view the potential bully's posts on their feed, however they will have the power to approve or reject comments and messages. Any attempted interaction by the bully will only be visible to the restrictor, unless approved otherwise.

The aim is to create a barrier between the bully and the victim (instead of completely blocking). The second feature, titled ‘Warning’ will detect negative comments and, as its name suggests, warn users before they post something that could offend another user.

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From the head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri (@mosseri): “We know bullying is a challenge many face, particularly young people. We are committed to leading the industry in the fight against online bullying, and we are rethinking the whole experience of Instagram to meet that commitment. 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. Encouraging Positive Interactions In the last few days, we started rolling out a new feature powered by AI that notifies people when their comment may be considered offensive before it’s posted. This intervention gives people a chance to reflect and undo their comment and prevents the recipient from receiving the harmful comment notification. Protecting Your Account From Unwanted Interactions With Restrict We wanted to create a feature that allows people to control their Instagram experience, without notifying someone who may be targeting them. Soon, we will begin testing a new way to protect your account from unwanted interactions called Restrict. It’s our responsibility to create a safe environment on Instagram. This has been an important priority for us for some time, and we are continuing to invest in better understanding and tackling this problem.” To learn more about these new updates, click the link in our bio. Artwork by @heysp

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So why not just block? In an announcement by Instagram that was posted earlier this week, Head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, stated that many young people are afraid to block their bully in fear of escalating the behaviour in real life.

With these features, the restricted user will have no way of knowing when you’re online, when you’ve read their messages and that their comments are being checked first – giving users more control over their social media accounts.  

Planned to launch before the end of year, the two new additions will give all users the chance to reflect before posting hurtful comments.

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