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Image credit: Edgar Alvarez / Engadget

Instagram will filter out bullying comments

Starting today, it will hide anything intended to 'harass or upset' users.
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Edgar Alvarez / Engadget

At the F8 conference today, it was announced that Instagram will filter out bullying comments from posts, starting today. This includes anything "intended to harass or upset people in our community," the platform's CEO said in a post. Doing this will ensure Instagram remains "an inclusive, supportive place for all voices," he wrote.

From our CEO @kevin: "Starting today, Instagram will filter bullying comments intended to harass or upset people in our community. To be clear: we don't tolerate bullying on Instagram. Our Community Guidelines have always prohibited bullying on our platform, and I'm proud to announce this next step in our ongoing commitment to keeping Instagram an inclusive, supportive place for all voices. We also believe in promoting kindness — encouraging our community to support one another both on and off Instagram. On Saturday we will host a Kindness Prom to celebrate people on our platform who are spreading positivity. These young leaders are inspiring their peers by helping kindness, acceptance and support grow on Instagram and in the world. Since Mike and I founded Instagram, it's been our goal to make it a safe place for self-expression and to foster kindness within the community. This update is just the next step in our mission to deliver on that promise." Check out the link in our bio to learn more about this update. Photo by @runnerkimhall

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This is a more forceful attempt to rid Instagram of negative interactions than their earlier efforts to clean up the platform. Back in September 2016, they enabled users to create filters for blocking content featuring certain words -- a potentially effective but laborious method that put the onus on the user. Last year, they introduced another to block offensive comments, but it was aimed to protect users from frequently-targeted groups.

The new bullying filter hides any comments on "a person's appearance or character, as well as threats to a person's well-being or health," according to Instagram. It's enabled by default to automatically comb content, but can be turned off in the Comment Controls. Either way, the filter will still detect and flag bullying content for official review.

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