This New Instagram Tool Silences Internet Bullies

Boy, bye.
PHOTO: istockphoto

Because Instagram can be a bona fide playground for internet bullies on the prowl, its developers have released two new tools designed to make the social-media platform a friendlier place.

The first tool filters spammy comments in nine different languages, including English, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, French, German, Russian, Japanese, and Chinese, with more languages to come. The second blocks offensive comments in posts and live videos. (You can turn off this functionality—"Hide Offensive Comments"—in your comments settings, but the default is set to "on.")

Instagram hasn't specified which types of comments qualify as offensive—a wise move considering that insight could help people outsmart the system. To prevent people from trying to do so, Instagram will continue to display blocked comments on the phones of the people who wrote them, Wired reports.

This isn't Instagram's first attempt to silence haters. In September 2016, the company released a tool to hide comments featuring inappropriate words, including a function that invites users to list specific words they don't want to see in their feeds.

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"Our work is far from finished and perfect, but I hope we're helping you feel safer and more welcome on Instagram," Instagram CEO and co-founder Kevin Systrom wrote in a blog post announcing the most recent changes.

While Instagram perfects its AI defenses, you can still delete or report comments manually should any of these tools miss a beat. Clearly, it takes a village to beat bullies but Instagram gets an A++ for trying.

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This article originally appeared on Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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