Instagram is working on two new features to prevent online bullying

Instagram logo on a Galaxy S10
Instagram logo on a Galaxy S10 (Image credit: Joe Maring / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Instagram has been working on two new features to help combat online bullying.
  • The AI comment warning will prompt you when a message seems harmful giving you a chance to rethink the message you are sending.
  • Restrict will hide a user's comment from everyone except them and prevent them from seeing when you're active or if you've read their direct message.

Online bullying is a trend which plagues social media. It doesn't matter if you're a teen or a celebrity, simply posting online opens yourself up to cyber bullies. In the past, several celebrities have even quit social media due to the toxic environment it can create. That's why Instagram has been working on two new features to help combat this epidemic.

The first of these features will use Artificial Intelligence to notify you if your message could be perceived as harmful. If Instagram's AI detects your comment as hurtful, it will show a prompt asking "Are you sure you want to post this?".

Instagram says early tests of this feature have shown that it encourages some people to reflect on their comment and undo it to send something nicer. This should work for friends of yours who have no filter or often speak without thinking, but what about real online bullies?

That's where the new Restrict feature comes into play. Once a person has been restricted, their comments on your posts will only be visible only to them, unless you decide to approve the comment and make it visible publicly. Those on your restrict list will also not be able to see when you're active on Instagram or when you've read direct messages they've sent.

Previously, users would be hesitant to block, unfollow, or report someone because of fear of encouraging more bullying online or in real life. Restrict helps give you the power to control your Instagram experience without worrying about retaliation.

Social media will never be free of bullying or trolls, but it's good to see companies like Instagram standing up and taking proactive measures against cyberbullying. The comment AI feature has been rolling out for the past few days, while Restrict is expected to go into testing sometime soon.

Instagram: Everything you need to know

Jason England