Instagram Cracks Down on Bullying With 'Comment Filter' - NBC New York

Instagram Cracks Down on Bullying With 'Comment Filter'

The new initiative comes just in time for World Mental Health Day.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Instagram Cracks Down on Bullying With 'Comment Filter'
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    Instagram will block bullying comments using new technology rolled out on the platform.

    What to Know

    • The head of Instagram announced that the social media app was taking increased measures to shut down bullying

    • A new filter will hide toxic or hurtful comments on Instagram live stories and regular photo and video posts

    • NSPCC reports that “the number of children and young people tormented by online trolls has increased by 88%"

    If there’s anything we’ve learned from the rise of social media, it’s that hate comments, trolling, and bullying are much easier to do when they come from behind a screen.

    And with increasingly younger kids logging on to these platforms, online abuse is at a record high among children. According to the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, the number of children and young people tormented by online trolls has increased by 88 percent in five years.

    Instagram wants to help put a stop to that.

    In honor of National Bullying Prevention Month in the United States and National Mental Health Day on October 10th, Instagram's new head Adam Mosseri announced in a press release that the social media app was taking increased measures to identify and report hurtful behavior in photos in an effort to combat bullying.

    “We are now using machine learning technology to proactively detect bullying in photos and their captions, and send them to our Community Operations team to review,” Mosseri said in the press release.

    The social networking app, which now has over 800 million users, announced early this week that it was extending its "bullying comment filter" to now apply to posts and live videos. The filter was introduced a few months ago.

    This filter will hide toxic or hurtful comments on Instagram live stories and regular photo and video posts that range from attacks on an individual’s appearance or character, well-being or health. It will also alert the Comment Control centers to repeated bullying attempts or attacks, and take necessary action, and investigate photos themselves that seem “unkind or unwelcome.”

    The initiative is to protect everyone on the app, but especially young teens, who Mosseri points out experience higher rates of bullying online than others.

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