Instagram is working to curb those offensive comments — on Tuesday, September 26, Instagram launched a few new tools that the platform says is designed to strengthen its commitment to safety and kindness.
The first change allows users with a public profile to choose who can comment on their posts. With the new tool, Instagrammers can keep comments open to everyone or just to certain groups. For example, public profiles can be adjusted so that only followers can comment. The new Instagram comments options allow users to limit comments to accounts they follow, accounts following them, or both.
The feature to limit comments to just followers is designed for public Instagram accounts, while users with private accounts are able to block specific users from commenting on posts. The filter that prevents offensive comments in the first place, which launched earlier this year, is now also available in Arabic, French, German and Portuguese, along with the original English language launch of the tool. Since the tool is based on artificial intelligence, Instagram says the program will continue to improve over time.
Instagram is also strengthening its reporting tools. Users can report anonymously concerning live videos. The tool is designed to help users struggling with mental health issues. When a live video is reported, Instagram displays a pop-up with resources for helplines, online articles, or a suggestion to talk to a trusted friend. The pop-up is displayed during the live video, but the recording doesn’t stop, and viewers cannot see the information.
Anonymous reporting isn’t new, but the pop-up now appears during a livestream instead of afterward.
The changes come with a new heart-shaped sticker and the #KindComments hashtag. Instagram will also be using murals in cities around the world encouraging users to write a positive comment.
“Since the beginning, we’ve tried to make Instagram a welcoming place for everyone,” wrote Kevin Systrom, Instagram co-founder and CEO, in a blog post. “Our community has grown to 800 million, with 500 million using it every day. It’s more important than ever to strengthen our commitment to safety and kindness.”
The update comes just after Instagram shared its latest user numbers, showing that the service is now reaching 800 million monthly active users and 500 million daily users.
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