Social media app adds self-censorship
INSTAGRAM on September 12 began letting users tackle online abuse by creating lists of words that would have comments hidden from sight at the popular photo and video-sharing service.
“This feature lets you list words you consider offensive or inappropriate,” Instagram cofounder and chief executive Kevin Systrom said in a blog post.
“Comments with these words will be hidden from your posts.”
People can tap on gear icons in their profiles to find a freshly added Comments tool where they can make lists of words they consider inappropriate.
A default list of words is provided as an option.
The move comes amid growing concerns about abusive or insulting online comments at media and social networking sites.
“All different types of people – from diverse backgrounds, races, genders, sexual orientations, abilities and more – call Instagram home, but sometimes the comments on their posts can be unkind,” Systrom said.
“To empower each individual, we need to promote a culture where everyone feels safe to be themselves without criticism or harassment.”
Facebook-owned Instagram already lets users swipe to delete comments, report abusive posted remark and even have accounts blocked.
Instagram has more than 500 million users from around the world, according to Systrom.
Canadian rock star Justin Bieber last month deleted his Instagram account after becoming upset by a barrage of negative comments about his friendship with Sofia Richie.
Bieber, 22, joined a series of celebrities dealing with abuse on social media by closing their accounts.
Actress and comedian Leslie Jones quit Twitter temporarily in June – devastated by a torrent of racist and sexist abuse aimed at her by trolls.