There’s no place for bullying on this social app anymore.
In 2016, Instagram rolled out a feature that would help users with “high-volume comment threads” (aka celebrities) filter out negative comments and harassment on their photos by trolls. The feature became controversial when it was introduced exclusively to the likes of Taylor Swift, Chrissy Teigen and Kylie Jenner because there seemed to be no way for someone without a massive following to protect themselves from hurtful messages too. Now, the geniuses behind the photo-sharing platform have come up with some new ideas to help out its—in the words of Cardi B—”regula-shmegula” members.
Today marks World Mental Health Day so why not use one of Instagram’s latest tools to help combat and identify bullying when you scroll through your feed? According to a blog post on the company’s website, Instagram recognizes that online bullying is complex and they’ve taken World Mental Health Day as a timely opportunity to remind people that there is no place for bullying on the app. For example, they’re now using machine learning technology to detect bullying in photo comments and have added a bullying comment filter to live videos.
Instagram also partnered up with teen author, dancer, and actor Maddie Ziegler to launch a Kindness Camera Effect to spread positivity. In selfie mode, hearts will fill the screen when you use the effect and you can tag a friend you want to support. If you switch to your rear camera, you’ll see an overlay of kind comments in many languages. If you follow Ziegler, who’s been speaking out about online bullying, you’ll have the camera effect automatically. If you aren’t, you can tap a “try it” to add it to your camera.
“Being social online should be a positive, fun experience,” said Ziegler. “I’m glad that Instagram is committed to stopping bullies with tools like the bullying comment and photo filters. I’m proud of their commitment, and I’m also proud of the new camera effect I helped work on that spreads kindness. Whether you’re shouting out your BFF or a person you admire, I hope this new Instagram feature is a force for positivity all over the world.”
While Instagram notices that the majority of photos being shared on the app today are positive and bring people joy, occasionally a photo is shared that is unkind or unwelcome. And with more and more influencers and celebrities sharing their stories with the intention of de-stigmatizing mental illness on social media, the new Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri knows that he has more work to do to further limit bullying and spread kindness.
“I’m proud to build on our commitment to making Instagram a kind and safe community for everyone,” said Mosseri.