What to know about Instagram's new anti-bullying feature with AI technology

PHOTO: An image of an Instagram screen. PlayMuhammed Selim Korkutata/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
WATCH Instagram makes changes to tackle bullying

Two major changes are coming to Instagram meant to address bullying.

The social platform is rolling out two new features, including one powered by artificial intelligence that notifies people when their comment may be considered offensive before it's even posted.

"While identifying and removing bullying on Instagram is important, we also need to empower our community to stand up to this kind of behavior," Adam Mosseri, Head of Instagram said in a post. "It’s our responsibility to create a safe environment on Instagram."

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From the head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri (@mosseri): “We know bullying is a challenge many face, particularly young people. We are committed to leading the industry in the fight against online bullying, and we are rethinking the whole experience of Instagram to meet that commitment. 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. Today we’re announcing one new feature in both areas. 💙 Encouraging Positive Interactions In the last few days, we started rolling out a new feature powered by AI that notifies people when their comment may be considered offensive before it’s posted. This intervention gives people a chance to reflect and undo their comment and prevents the recipient from receiving the harmful comment notification. 🧡 Protecting Your Account From Unwanted Interactions With Restrict We wanted to create a feature that allows people to control their Instagram experience, without notifying someone who may be targeting them. Soon, we will begin testing a new way to protect your account from unwanted interactions called Restrict. 💛 It’s our responsibility to create a safe environment on Instagram. This has been an important priority for us for some time, and we are continuing to invest in better understanding and tackling this problem.” 💗 To learn more about these new updates, click the link in our bio. Artwork by @heysp

A post shared by Instagram (@instagram) on Jul 8, 2019 at 11:31am PDT

The first new feature forces users to take a beat before posting something offensive.

Here’s how it works: If someone’s about to post a mean comment - for example “you are so ugly and stupid," they will get an instant in-app pop-up notification asking, “are you sure you want to post this?”

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

PHOTO: Instagram addresses bullying in new feature called Restrict. Instagram
Instagram addresses bullying in new feature called "Restrict."

Instagram says they’ve run early tests of this new feature and found at least some people delete those negative comments, instead of posting.

The second new feature called “Restrict.”

It's meant to help users quietly block bullies who they might be reluctant to unfollow or report because of the real life consequences.

PHOTO: Instagram launches new features to reduce online bullying. Instagram
Instagram launches new features to reduce online bullying.

Once you "restrict" someone, comments on your posts from that person will only be visible to that person. They also won’t be able to see when you’re active on Instagram or when you’ve read their direct messages.

Instagram realizes bullying can be a complex issue.

A toxic user experience can also drive brands away from their platform, not just everyday users. In the long run, not addressing these sort of issues across the ever-growing Instagram community can have not only a detrimental but also a financial impact on the overall operation.