Instagram Asks ‘Are You Sure?’

Are You Sure? Three little words designed to make you think. 

Which is exactly what Instagram is hoping for with its new anti-bullying tool. The social media network is rolling out a new feature that uses AI to identify negative comments before they are published, prompting users to think again before they post nasty comments.

The move follows a 2017 study that revealed of the five major social media networks Instagram was the most harmful to young people’s mental health. 

Adam Mosseri, Head of Instagram explained: “Our mission is to connect you with the people and things you love, which only works if people feel comfortable expressing themselves on Instagram. We know bullying is a challenge many face, particularly young people. We are committed to leading the industry in the fight against online bullying, and we are rethinking the whole experience of Instagram to meet that commitment.

“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. Today we’re announcing one new feature in both areas. These tools are grounded in a deep understanding of how people bully each other and how they respond to bullying on Instagram, but they’re only two steps on a longer path.”

The tool is being rolled out to English-speaking users at first, with plans to eventually make it available globally. It is part of a series of plans that includes hiding likes from profiles and a new ‘restrict’ option that gives users the power to filter abusive comments without resorting to blocking (which it bullies can make bullies worse).

Mr Mosseri continued: “Online bullying is a complex issue. For years now, we have used artificial intelligence to detect bullying and other types of harmful content in comments, photos and videos. As our community grows, so does our investment in technology. This is especially crucial for teens since they are less likely to report online bullying even when they are the ones who experience it the most.”

“This intervention gives people a chance to reflect and undo their comment and prevents the recipient from receiving the harmful comment notification. From early tests of this feature, we have found that it encourages some people to undo their comment and share something less hurtful once they have had a chance to reflect,” he added.

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