This is how Instagram plans to tackle bullying once and for all

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  • Users of the social media platform are being urged to consider their words before posting

    Listen up, everyone. Instagram is going to warn users when it detects potentially bullying language in captions, in a bid to encourage people to reconsider their words before sharing.

    The social media app, owned by Facebook, has said it will use artificial intelligence to spot possibly hurtful words, and alert the user to this.

    How? Well, you’ll see a message that tells you the caption written looks similar to others that have previously been complained about. You can then choose to edit it, learn more about what it has been flagged up, or carry on and post it regardless.

    Instagram introduced a similar feature in July, which warned users if it thought their comments on other people’s posts contained bullying or offensive language. The company says that nudging people to reconsider posting potentially hurtful comments has had ‘promising’ results in the company’s fight against online bullying.

    Instagram bullying

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    The feature attempts to modify the behaviour of bullies on Instagram, and the social media giant said, ‘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 new feature is rolling out in select countries for now, but it will expand globally in the coming months. It comes amid criticism that Instagram has not acted quickly enough to remove abusive and potentially dangerous content from the platform.

    ‘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.

    Another new feature called Restrict will allow users to secretly block bullies. Once someone is placed on Restrict, comments on victim’s posts from that person will only be visible to the bully.

    We’re pleased by this news.

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