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INSTAGRAM TESTS NEW FEATURES DESIGNED TO BEAT THE BULLIES
UNTIL recently the founders of social networks have not cared much about what goes on, good or bad, on their platforms as long as the number of users was rising – but no more. They are really starting to do something about bullying.
Arguably, this is nowhere more important than on Instagram. This week, its boss Adam Mosseri announced two new features it is rolling out to try to make a dent in the bullying culture on the network – and most welcome they are too.
First is an AI monitoring of comments made, that will ask the poster to reflect a little on what they’ve written and ask if they really want to post it. Instagram says in testing this has proved reasonably effective – a lot of users, when trying to post a message or comment that of a type recognised as hateful by the AI, think twice and delete when asked the question.
Instagram is also introducing a system that allows a user to “shadowban” anyone they don’t like from commenting on their images or sending them direct messages.
Shadowbanning a the bully means their comments are not made public until approved. The bully can see them, but they don’t know themselves that no one else can.
The bully’s direct messages don’t show up to them as having been read, either, and they can’t see if the person they’re bullying is online.
Essentially it means they think they’re just being ignored, and no one else is able to pile on to validate their behaviour.
It sounds like a solid and sophisticated way to deal with the problem without pouring fuel on the fire. Let’s hope it shows results.