The move comes as the UK government develops laws which would make social media companies responsible for their users’ well-being.
Instagram is introducing new features which will automatically challenge users before they post something which might be considered bullying, and allow victims to secretly block their tormentors.
The new feature notifies users when Instagram’s algorithms suspect that their comments might be considered offensive before they actually post.
It is introduced as the British government develops regulations to tackle social media platforms and make them responsible for harmful materialwhich they allow users to share or discover.
According to the Facebook-owned company: “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 company added.Advertisement
While the feature attempts to modify the behaviour of bullies on Instagram, the company is also introducing others which it intends will empower people to stand-up to bullies.
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.
Users can choose to make a restricted person’s comments visible to others by approving them.
Restricted people will also be unable to see when the victim is active on Instagram or when their victims have read their direct messages.
It’s our responsibility to create a safe environment on Instagram,” said the company’s head Adam Mosseri.
This has been an important priority for us for some time, and we are continuing to invest in better understanding and tackling this problem.