Instagram announced on Monday two new features aimed at curbing online harassment on its platform, including a warning for people who intend to post abusive comments.
“It is our responsibility to create a safe environment on Instagram,” Adam Mosseri, head of this socially owned Facebook-based social network, said in a statement.
“This has been an important priority for us for a while, and we continue to invest to better understand and address this problem,” he said.
A new tool will notify users that their comments may be considered offensive before they are published.
“This intervention gives people the opportunity to reflect and undo their comment and prevents the recipient from receiving notice of harmful comments,” Mosseri said.
“Since the first tests of this function, we have found that it encourages some people to undo their comments and share something less harmful once they have an opportunity to reflect,” said the director.
Another new tool is aimed at limiting the dissemination of abusive comments.
“We have heard young people in our community say they are reluctant to block, stop following or report their stalker because it could aggravate the situation, especially if they interact with him in real life ,” Mosseri said.
A new feature called “restrict”, which is being tested will make the posts of an offending person visible only to him/her.
“One can choose to make the comments of a restricted person visible to others after approving them,” Mosseri added.
“Restricted people will not be able to see when you’re active on Instagram or when you’ve read their messages,” he said.
This Instagram initiative is the latest in a series of actions on cyberbullying by social networks to address hate speech and abusive behaviors that can be especially damaging to young users.