Instagram Improvements: New and Improved Anti-Cyber Bullying Features

Instagram improvements – how they are renewing their efforts to combat Cyber Bullying

Instagram is constantly reviewing the platform to make improvements. Social Media has transformed the lifestyles of millions globally and for the most part in a positive way. Every innovation though has a downside. With social media this downside is mostly due to the emergence of cyber bullying. The statistics can be quite worrying with regards to who is being cyber-bullied and where. Here you can see some recent stats focusing on cyber-bullying on social media:

Instagram improvements

Why Instagram are making improvements

Cyber bullying creates a whole series of issues and challenges. These are issues for the victims and also for the social media platforms themselves. Instagram have taken strides forward in their aim to combat cyber bullying within the last couple of months. After all, it is universally recognised to be the biggest social media platform worldwide.

With this status comes a degree of responsibility for their users. It is reassuring to know that this is one responsibility that Instagram are taking seriously. According to the Instagram Info Center they say,

‘We can do more to prevent bullying from happening on Instagram, and we can do more to empower the targets of bullying to stand up for themselves.’

As suggested, Instagram has launched a double-pronged attack on cyber bullying with the introduction of two new features. The aim is that they will work side-by-side to minimise the bullying from the trolls point of view. It will also make it easier for the target to deal with bullying that does happen. So no longer should dealing with cyber-bullying be reactive once it has already happened. Instead, Instagram have paved the way for developing preventative measures to discourage cyber bullies in the first instance. Here is a break down of these two new features.

Feature 1: PREVENTING cyber-bullying

Instagram have always been proactive in dealing with cyber bullying and have continuously been making the most of latest technologies to do so. They have been using Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology to deal with instances of cyber bullying for years now.

How this works:

AI has been used by Instagram to detect any hurtful and harmful material like cyber bullying. It can detect them within comments and even within photos and videos. This has given them the ability to deal with the perpetrator effectively but only once the actual cyber bullying has taken place. Instagram have now turned this on its head and in a beautiful moment of genius have come up with a strategy to help deter the perpetrator from the act of cyber bullying in the first place.

This new feature still uses AI but it now sends a notification message to the poster before it is sent to tell them that the content of what they are posting might be offensive or hurtful to the recipient. This gives them an opportunity to really carefully consider whether or not they should send the message. The visual prompt may just be what the poster needs to reflect and have a chance to alter what they are writing rather than reacting negatively in the heat of the moment. According to Instagram, this feature is showing to have some positive results:

‘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.’

Feature 2: DEALING with cyber bullying

Instagram have developed their second feature called Restrict for instances where the bullying still takes place. If somebody has cruel intentions they will always find a way to continue with cyber bullying. Instagram are going to use this new feature to make it harder for them to do so. This also helps to empower the target and helps them to stand up to the bully.

The way that Restrict works is that it will allow the target to almost ‘block’ the perpetrator but without them even knowing it whilst still keeping you informed of what they are trying to do. To be precise – you can restrict someone on your account and they will never know that they have been restricted.

You will only see all their comments and posts to you- nobody else will be able to see them. You then have the power to decide whether or not to approve the post. In addition to this, the perpetrator will not know when you are active on Instagram and they wont be able to tell if you have read any direct messages they have sent you.

All in all this is a great step in the right direction to prevent cyber bullying and restrict the power and effect that these bullies can have on people.

For more information about Instagram’s latest updates and improvements please read more on our blog.

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