Instagram is adding more muscle to fight bullying, including one tool that appeals to a harasser’s conscious.
Instagram has been addressing online harassment over the last couple of years with options to block followers and report offensive items. But for the first time, artificial intelligence will hold an intervention with a would-be bully.
AI will flag negative posts, pause them from publishing and then ask whether a person is sure they want to go live with the questionable content. Clicking on “Learn More,” the user will see a notice about “Keeping Instagram a Supportive Place.”
“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,” wrote Instagram’s Adam Mosseri on the company blog.
In the weeks ahead, Instagram will add a feature called Restrict. This allows a victim to hide comments from identified harassers without their knowing. The only person able to see their comments is the restricted follower.
“We’ve heard from young people in our community that they’re reluctant to block, unfollow or report their bully because it could escalate the situation, especially if they interact with their bully in real life,” Mosseri wrote. “Some of these actions also make it difficult for a target to keep track of their bully’s behavior.”