In an unprecedented move, Facebook’s Instagram is launching its very first attempt to counter bullying online, aimed at reducing and mostly eliminating abusive comments on the app.
“It’s our responsibility to create a safe environment on Instagram,” said a statement from Adam Mosseri, head of the visually-focused social media platform owned by Facebook.
In an article published in NewYork Times, Daniel J. Solove, author of “The Future of Reputation: Gossip, Rumor and Privacy on the Internet,” said society needed to work on education. He added: “We teach people a lot of the consequences” of things like unsafe driving, “but not that what we do online could have serious consequences.”
With a new tool introduced by Instagram, a warning will be generated by artificial intelligence to notify users that their comment may be considered offensive before it is posted; moreover, another new tool is aimed at limiting the spread of abusive comments on a user’s feed.
“This intervention gives people a chance to reflect and undo their comment and prevents the recipient from receiving the harmful comment notification,” Mosseri said. He added that “Restricted people won’t be able to see when you’re active on Instagram or when you’ve read their direct messages.”
This new feature is to be called “restrict” and is currently being tested; however, it is expected that it will make posts from an offending person visible only to that person.
This long-anticipated move by Instagram is the latest in a series of actions on cyberbullying by social networks to deal with hate speech and abusive conduct, which can be especially harmful to young users