Instagram has introduced a new feature intended to reduce bullying and abuse on the platform. Instagram will now inform users if a comment or caption could potentially be offensive.
Management at the image-based social media site states that this new feature will give people the opportunity to consider whether comments could cause offence. Instagram describes this as part of its “long-term commitments to lead the fight against online bullying.”
In addition to this feature, Instagram has also developed and tested artificial intelligence which has the ability to recognise different forms of bullying on its social platform. Instagram has already launched a feature that notifies people when comments they have made may be considered offensive, before they are ever posted on Instagram.
Instagram claims that early results with such technology have been promising, and that ‘nudging’ people in this way has a positive impact on the likelihood of them reconsidering any offensive words.
The new feature has already been installed on the Instagram platform, and thus from now on when a user writes a caption for a feed post, and types a message that could be potentially offensive, the user will receive a prompt informing them that the message is similar to those that have already been detected as online bullying.
While the feature is intended to reduce bullying and abuse, Instagram also states that it will help educate users on Instagram policies and procedures. The new AI-driven feature will be rolled out in select countries to begin with, although Instagram states that it will be expanded globally in the coming months.
Instagram has become hugely successful in a relatively short period of time, having been launched in 2010. Since then, the website which enables users to showcase their personal photographs has attracted billions of users, with over 100 million people using the site on a monthly basis currently. Revenue at Instagram has also escalated rapidly, and the site is expected to generate $14 billion in 2019.
However, the Facebook-owned platform has been subjected to criticism for failing to responding satisfactorily to abusive and potentially dangerous content. Politicians and campaigners have called for such social media platforms to be better regulated, in order for sites to be held to account for failing to protect users.
While the social media sphere has become a central part of life for many people, and is unquestionably hugely popular, it has also been shrouded in controversy for quite some time. One of the other major issues that has hit the niche has been the influence of political advertising, with Facebook again being at the recipient of criticism in this area.
Instagram chief executive Adam Mosseri conceded in July that the company must do more in order to prevent bullying on Instagram. Mosseri also stated that Instagram is working on ways to encourage the targets of bullying to be able to stand up for themselves against attackers.