Social me­dia app adds self-cen­sor­ship

The Myanmar Times - - The Pulse -

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.

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