Photo and video sharing platform Instagram has recently announced a new feature that will allow users to block any unwanted comments they might receive on their posts.
The new function allows users to add a series of custom keywords to a list of phrases and terms that they may consider to be offensive and abusive. The platform’s algorithms will then automatically hide any comments that have these terms detected within them.
Instagram revealed the news of the update on its website, with its CEO Kevin Systrom saying that the introduction of this filter is a step towards keeping the popular site a safe place for users to express themselves and their creativity.
Furthermore, Systrom commits to continuing to build features and functions to safeguard its users and maintain the values that make Instagram a positive place.
Earlier this year, a number of high-profile users of the site, mainly celebrities, were given access to this tool early. Amongst these users was pop star Taylor Swift, who has long been the subject of online abuse for her sour relationships with other celebrities, including Harry Styles and Kim Kardashian West.
As with nearly all social media sites, cyber bullying, abuse and harassment have long been a problem for both celebrity and everyday Instagram users. This summer, Canadian musician Justin Bieber deleted his account after receiving a barrage of abusive comments about his girlfriend.
Instagram’s anti-abuse feature has already been scrutinised and compared to the efforts made by other popular social networking sites. Some have even criticised these networks for only introducing these measures once its high-profile figures come under attack.
Social media rival Twitter has perhaps come under the most examination for its lack of action against internet trolls. Earlier this year, Leslie Jones, an actress in the 2016 remake of Ghostbusters, was forced off the site after being the subject of a tirade of racial and sexist abuse.
Instagram is owned by social networking phenomenon Facebook, which has been accused of both censoring too little and too much. It even led to the editorial team of Norway’s largest newspaper to urge Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to “live up to” his role as “the world’s most powerful editor” after the company took down an award-winning photograph from the Vietnam War, which was posted by Norwegian prime minister Erna Solberg.
Businesses that use social media as an online marketing tool may also find that they can be subjected to some negative comments about the services they provide. It is how these comments are dealt with that will either see a business sink or swim. Here are some tips about how you can deal with such situations.