Instagram recently announced a change to its comments section in effort to promote kindness amongst users. In a release about the new filter, the company expressed to the Instagram community that they have always prohibited bullying on the app. To further show their commitment against harmful comments, the company revealed Instagram's feature for hiding "bullying" comments.
The filter for bullying comments hides any comments "containing attacks on a person’s appearance or character, as well as threats to a person’s well-being or health," according to the release. The release of this new feature was announced on Tuesday, May 1, and the filter for the bullying comments is automatically on for the global Instagram community (you can disable the feature in the Comment Controls center in your Instagram app settings). In addition to hiding comments that qualify as bullying, Instagram will also be alerted when there are repeated problems so they can take the appropriate action.
Kevin Systrom, co-founder and CEO of Instagram, penned the release announcing the bullying comments filter, and he shared that Instagram's goal is to "make it a safe place for self-expression and to foster kindness within the community." Systrom also specifically focused on the company's mission to guard against the bullying of young public figures on the app.
To that end, Instagram is expanding its policies in order to protect the youngest members of the community so that they feel comfortable enough to use the app for the purpose of expressing "who they are and what they care about." In order to help promote the kindness Instagram wants to see on the app, the company is hosting a Kindness Prom on Saturday, May 5. The young leaders who will be in attendance at the event were invited because Instagram believes they are people who help make the Instagram community a better place by "helping kindness, acceptance, and support grow on Instagram and in the world."
The message of the release announcing the new bullying comments filter seemed to focus on the importance of creating a place where Instagram users can feel safe to express themselves without having to deal with hurtful or harmful comments. Even though they are only words on a screen, hurtful comments can really affect how people might think about the way they use the app in the future. Instagram wants to prevent those types of harmful comments that might inhibit the self-expression that the app is meant for.
This isn't Instagram's first foray into trying to make the Instagram community a safer place. The new filter focused on hiding harmful bullying comments is in addition to the offensive comments filter that Instagram launched last summer. Back in June 2017, Instagram shared that its users reported how toxic comments discourage them from using the app at times. To combat that, the company introduced a filter that automatically blocks certain offensive comments. You can also turn off this feature in the settings of your Instagram app.
With the addition of the "bullying" comments filter, Instagram is continuing its mission to make Instagram an inclusive and supportive place for all voices.
By taking steps to prevent the prevalence of harmful comments, the company is creating a safer space for users so they can enjoy the app without bullying or offensive comments. One of the newest features that users can try out is Instagram's new portrait-like Story feature called Instagram Focus. Instagram Focus is found in the in-app camera, and it captures images that look like professional portraits. It's honestly a great way to up your Instagram Story game.
Thanks to the efforts taken by Instagram to protect its users, you can enjoy playing with all the features the app has to offer without worrying about any hurtful comments coming your way.