Instagram launches a feature that helps curb bullying

Instagram launches a feature that helps curb bullying

Instagram has announced on Monday that its rolling out a new feature that notifies people when their captions on a photo or video may be considered offensive, and gives them a chance to pause and reconsider their words before posting.   

People around the world are faced with bullying in general, and with all the social freedom social media allows us to have, individuals use technology to write aggressive, embarrassing or hateful messages to/about peers in order to intimidate, harass, shame, and control. One can never overlook of the fact of the impact Cyberbullying can make on people.

 According to studies, over half of adolescents and teens are faced with cyberbullying, and that the same amount have engaged in cyberbullying. Another study shows that due to high online activity of teens on social media, a majority of them have experienced cyberbullying first-hand or witnessed friends being the victim. Nevertheless, teens are embarrassed about their experience and hesitate telling parents or guardians due to the potential consequences.

“As a part of our long-term commitment to lead the fight against online bullying, we’ve developed and tested AI that can recognize different forms of bullying on Instagram”, says an Instagram official in its blog post. When someone writes a caption for a feed post the Instagram AI detects the caption as potentially offensive, they will receive a prompt informing them that their caption is similar to those reported for bullying. They will have the opportunity to edit their caption before it’s posted.  

IMG Credits: Instagram

Cyberbullying is on the rise and the impact is often underestimated. Earlier this year, Instagram had launched a feature that notified people when their comments may be considered offensive before they’re posted. Instagram found the results promising and found that these types of nudges can encourage people to reconsider their words when given a chance.

While the majority of photos shared on Instagram are positive and bring people joy, occasionally a photo is shared that is unkind or unwelcome. Instagram is now using Machine learning technology to proactively detect bullying in photos and their captions and send them to its Community Operations team to review.

Social media can be very influential on society in both positive and negative ways. While social media in conjunction with other technologies have made cyber bullying easy, it can also be used as a platform to bring about a positive change. 

Adam Mosseri, Head of Instagram said, “It’s our responsibility to create a safe environment on Instagram. This has been an important priority for us foe some time, and we are continuing to invest in better understanding and tackling this problem”, in a blog post

The opportunity of editing offensive messages in the captions before it’s posted, Instagram wants to not only limit the reach of bullying but also want to educate people on what Instagram allows and what it doesn’t, and also when an account may be at risk of breaking rules.

Instagram will start rolling out this feature from today in select Countries and would be expanding globally in the coming months. However, it did not mention what Countries it would start rolling out in.