Instagram has swung into action against online bullying and announced a unique feature where people can ‘shadow ban’ or ‘restrict’ a bully from commenting on their posts.
The social media site said that it will use artificial intelligence to root out insults, shaming, and disrespect.
In a press release, Instagram head Adam Mosseri wrote that early tests had shown the features encouraged “some people to undo their comment and share something less hurtful once they had a chance to reflect.
“We have started rolling out a new feature powered by AI that notifies people when their comment may be considered offensive before it’s posted,” he said.
This move gives people a chance to reflect on 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,” said Instagram head.
“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,” he added.
Once you ‘restrict’ someone, comments on your posts from that person will only be visible to that person. You can choose to make a restricted person’s comments visible to others by approving their comments.
This has been done to because many young users told Instagram that they are reluctant to block, unfollow, or report their bully because it could escalate the situation, especially if they know that person in real life.
“We wanted to create a feature that allows people to control their Instagram experience, without notifying someone who may be targeting them,” Mosseri explained. “It’s our responsibility to create a safe environment on Instagram.”