Published: Wed, July 10, 2019
Markets | By Otis Pena

Instagram starts rolling out AI-powered anti-bullying features

Instagram starts rolling out AI-powered anti-bullying features

While the company already uses AI to track and remove harmful content, a new feature will force users to pause before posting a potentially offensive comment. Currently, the Facebook-owned social media platform uses a conventional human-dependent system for dealing with this issue that relies on users flagging and reporting comments as spam, abuse, or hate speech.

This comes as part of Instagram's commitment to "lead the fight against online bullying", and will give users the ability to restrict other users on their accounts without notifying them.

According to Mosseri, "this intervention gives people a chance to reflect and undo their comment and prevents the recipient from receiving the harmful comment notification".

Instagram is taking a hard line on bullying. That's why Instagram has been working on two new features to help combat this epidemic. However, Mosseri writes that early tests of the feature showed that it works.

Instagram is inviting users to think again before posting unkind comments with a new tool created to curb bullying on the social media platform. However, you will retain the option to make the comments visible to others if you want.

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And then there's the planned feature known as "Restrict", which has yet to even begin its testing phase. Moreover, Restricted users will not be able to see if you've read their messages, or whether you're online on the platform.

The company said young people are often "reluctant to block, unfollow, or report" bullies for fear of escalating the incident. "Some of these actions also make it hard for a target to keep track of their bully's behaviour".

But, on the other end, the user won't be notified when the bully sends them a message and won't see the thread in their main inbox; instead, restricted threads will be diverted to the area reserved for message requests, where things like spam are typically relegated.

Just like any bullying, online bullying is a serious and widespread problem, especially among young folks.

Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms, and like any popular social media platform, the company is struggling with bad actors making the platform a hateful place with hate comments, bullying and what not.

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