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Instagram is leading the fight against online bullying

By Lois Ransome on July 09, 2019

It was recently announced that Instagram will be leading the fight against bullying across its online platform by introducing two revolutionary new features. These new features will prompt users to think about their actions online before commenting on anything negative using the photo and video-sharing app. 

Through Instagram's new algorithm, before users post their comments, new technology will intervene and the user will be sent a notification when the platform suspects the comment they’ve created might be perceived as offensive.

The introduction of this new functionality comes after the British government began developing new regulations to tackle social media platforms and ensure apps such as Facebook and Instagram are held accountable for protecting the mental wellbeing of their users by regulating any potentially harmful material shared across the platforms.

The Facebook-owned company had this to say: "This intervention gives people a chance to reflect and undo their comment and prevents the recipient from receiving the harmful comment notification."From early tests of this feature, we have found that it encourages some people to undo their comment and share something less hurtful once they have had a chance to reflect," the company added.

While the company acknowledges that this feature makes an excellent start to combating hateful commenting online, Instagram and Facebook will also be working towards introducing other ways in which it can motivate its audience to stand up against bullies. 

It wasn’t merely a response to UK regulation that prompted Instagram to develop their strategy to crack down on bullying online, the team were responding directly to their active users, saying, "We've heard from young people in our community that they're reluctant to block, unfollow, or report their bully because it could escalate the situation, especially if they interact with their bully in real life," the company stated.

And, it doesn't stop there, Instagram has gone one step further to ensure user safety by including a feature called Restrict. 

Restrict will allow individuals to secretly block other users - once someone has been placed on Restrict their comments on the victim's post will only be visible to the bully. Users will also be able to approve comments to make them visible to others if they wish.

Users can choose to make a restricted person's comments visible to others by approving them. Restricted people will also be unable to see when the victim is active on Instagram or when their victims have read their direct messages. 

The head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri followed this announcement by saying, "It's our responsibility to create a safe environment on Instagram." and "This has been an important priority for us for some time, and we are continuing to invest in better understanding and tackling this problem."

Find out more about Instagrams commitment to lead the fight against online bullying by visiting their info center

To find out more about how you could better utilise the Instagram app for your business read our blog post, Instagram advertising: A beginner’s guide.