Instagram's New Anti-Bullying Tools Let You Shadow Ban Rude Followers

Instagram's New Anti-Bullying Tools Let You Shadow Ban Rude Followers

You can also choose to "unrestrict" individual comments from these users, so they show up to everyone, but the rest of their comments will still be restricted.

Yesterday evening, Instagram announced two new anti-bullying features that it's calling "two steps on a longer path" towards "leading the industry in the fight against online bullying".

The AI-powered Rethink tool will flag comments that could be considered offensive before they are posted.

About 59 percent of U.S. teens have been bullied or harassed online and most think social media sites are doing a fair or poor job of addressing this issue, according to a 2018 study by the Pew Research Center. So, Instagram has now added two new features, one AI-based and the other relies on users themselves.

In an exclusive interview last month, Instagram head Adam Mosseri, told "CBS This Morning" Gayle King how this new feature will help give users more control.

Instagram is taking a hard line on bullying.

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One tool will use artificial intelligence (AI) to identify offensive comments while the other will give users the power to restrict certain accounts from publicly commenting on their posts. Before the comment is posted, Instagram asks: "Are you sure you want to post this?' The user must then reflect on what they've written before deciding whether or not to go ahead with sharing it - the person on the receiving end will only be notified if the original person (AKA bully) decides to confirm their comment". The feature also doesn't provide read receipts on direct messages.

Instagram has started rolling out new features on the platform to combat the harrassment and bullying, especially among teenage users.

"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", Mosseri said in a statement.

Testing will soon begin on the feature, which is called Restrict.

The second feature, that aims at empowering the victims of bullying is the ability to "restrict" unwanted attention. In addition, some of these actions "make it hard for a target to keep track of their bully's behavior".