Instagram, which has been under fire for not doing enough to combat online bullying, said Monday it’s rolling out and testing new tools to tackle the problem.
The Facebook-owned photo-sharing app announced in April during‘s F8 developer conference it was experimenting with new features to combat bullying. Now Instagram is officially releasing an AI-powered feature that will let users know if they’re about to post an offensive comment.
When a user types out “You are so ugly and stupid,” for example, a user will get a notification that states “Are you sure you want to post this?”
“We can do more to prevent bullying from happening on Instagram, and we can do more to empower the targets of bullying to stand up for themselves,” said Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, in a blog post.
Mosseri said it tested the new AI feature and it prompted some users to change offensive comments before they’re posted.
The company is also testing a new tool called “Restrict” that will prevent you and others from seeing comments from bullies. The bully won’t get notified their comments are being restricted or see if you’ve read their direct messages or when you’re active on Instagram.
Teens told Instagram that they’re wary about blocking, unfollowing or reporting a bully because they’re afraid it could make their situation worse especially if they know the person in real life.
About 59 percent of US 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. Anti-bullying group Ditch the Label found in 2017 that 42% of 12-to-20-year-olds surveyed in the UK who were bullied online experienced it on Instagram.