Popular photo-sharing platform Instagram has recently added a new feature that allows users to control who is able to comment on their posts.
The ‘Comment Controls’ feature is the platform’s latest solution to stop its users from suffering at the hands of trolls and keyboards warriors by stopping them from commenting on their posts altogether.
The company introduced the feature last week. Users who have an account with public settings – meaning anyone can see, like and comment on any photo posted by that user – can now block certain accounts from accessing the comments section on their posts.
As a result, users are now able to limit access to the comments section of their account to groups of people they want to be able to do so, such as filtering for accounts they follow themselves and/or the user’s followers, preventing the rest of the site from leaving any comments.
Furthermore, it is not just those with public accounts that can control who interacts with them on the site. Users with their accounts set to private can also block specific accounts from commenting on their posts. With this section, the user selects the people who follow them that they no longer want to be able to comment.
This is not the only thing that the Facebook-owned service has altered to help combat cyberbullying. Back in June the company launched a feature that blocks certain offensive language from appearing on posts. This was originally done in English, but has since been expanded to include other languages, including German, French, Portuguese and Arabic.
Instagram announced the introduction of the comment filter in a blog post last Tuesday, in which it said that it will improve over time and will enable the Instagram community to improve its experience.
At the same time, the company also unveiled another feature aimed at mental health. Users can now report live videos of other users who seem to be going through a difficult time or may need support anonymously. When this happens, the live streamer will receive a message offering them help, with the option of being connected to a helpline, as well as options to reach out to their friends or access other types of support. Instagram says it has teams working around the clock to respond to these calls.
Kindness is also being targeted by the company with the launch of a new campaign, known as #KindComments. This will take place over the next few months and will see cities all around the world turned into colourful murals through stickers and filters, which will be designed by artists and contributions from users.