Undoubtedly, Instagram is emerging as the most used instant messaging and content sharing platform for today’s tech-addicted generation. It allows us to share pictures, videos, and any other suitable content. But along with all its pros, it brings a number of attached cons. Instagram has been included among the social media platforms which are repeatedly criticized for failing to act quickly enough to remove abusive and other potentially dangerous content from the platform. The positive impact of social media is not universally accepted. And there is some truth to these viewpoints due to increased cases of cybersecurity issues. Social media is capable of engaging students by building their curiosity and drawing their attention but what to do if it draws negativity too. Such social media platforms with millions of users often become a medium for trolling and bullying. Campaigners from around the world and politicians have called for greater regulation to be introduced to enable better policing of social media and hold sites to account for not protecting their user’s fundamental issues. Facebook-owned Instagram had earlier giving its users the liberty to restrict bullies on the platform. Previously, a worldwide feature called ‘Restrict’ was introduced by Instagram. It allowed users to stop people from bullying them with offensive posts or abusive comments. Earlier when the restrict feature was launched, Instagram had explained that once “Restrict is enabled, comments on your posts from a person you have restricted will only be visible to that concerned person.” The user chooses voluntarily choose to view the comment by selecting ‘See Comment’. They can even either approve it for everyone to see or delete it or even ignore it. The Caption Warning feature is another step by the company to help curb cyberbullying on the platform.
Now, the organization has rolled out Instagram Caption Warning, which is an anti-bullying tool from hurtful comments. In a series of actions on cyberbullying, this is the latest move by Instagram, to deal with hate speech and abusive conduct which can be especially harmful to young users. In case, users feel someone bullies them with a caption on your photos or videos on Instagram, there will be an immediate flagged notification “This caption looks similar to others that have been reported”. Recent reports say that Instagram is giving the users the option to revise the message or share it anyway.
Earlier, a similar feature was introduced this year, which warned users when their comments to other people’s posts contained language that could be considered offensive. Instagram in this year October rolled out the “Restrict” feature globally that allows users to stop people who bully them via offensive posts or abusive comments. Affected user can restrict someone by swiping left on a comment, through the Privacy tab in Settings, or directly on the profile of the account you intend to restrict. Instagram will warn users when it detects potentially bullying language in their captions for posts to the social network. This newly introduced anti-bullying feature will be of much higher use.
Here’s how it works:-
Facebook after giving its users power to restrict bullies on its platform, has now extended its anti-bullying tool to hurtful captions on photos and videos on facebook-owned Instagram. Additionally, the social media platform will be limiting people under 18 years of age from viewing posts from celebrity influencers that promote cosmetic surgery and various weight-loss products. According to the Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri, “It’s our responsibility to create a safe environment on Instagram.” This feature can be accessed by going to Settings > Privacy. It can also be enabled simply by directly going to the profile of the person you intend to restrict. In addition, the Direct Messages from restricted accounts will automatically move to Message Request and notifications won’t appear. When triggered, the feature will show users a message which says the caption looks similar to others that have been previously reported and provides them the option to edit it, learn more about why it has been flagged or share it anyway.
Technology deployed in a new feature:-
Reportedly, Instagram is using Artificial Intelligence(AI) that can detect harmful and offensive content on captions, comments, photos, and videos, captions on photos and videos of the users. The Facebook-owned social media app explained that it will use artificial intelligence to spot possibly harmful language and give users the opportunity to reconsider it again before sharing.
According to the recent announcements, the company will restrict people under age 18 from viewing posts from celebrity influencers that promote cosmetic surgery and various weight-loss products to prevent them from trapping into false temptations of such products.
Reactions of the world:-
No doubt, this feature will act as a major step to prevent cyberbullying. Responding to the new feature, co-founder of anti-cyberbullying charity Cybersmile, Dan Raisbeck, said it was a good example of proactive attempts to stop online abuse, rather than reacting to it after the event.
“We should all consider the impact of our words, especially online where comments can be easily misinterpreted,” he said. He added “Instagram is a reflection of our diverse community of cultures, ages, and beliefs. We’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the different points of view that create a safe and open environment for every user”. One of the social media giants said it was committed to developing new technology and features aimed at mitigating online bullying, pointing to a number of features introduced this year designed to cut bullying taking place on its platform.
“It’s our responsibility to create a safe environment on Instagram,” said Adam Mosseri, Head of Instagram
The move by Instagram is the latest in a series of actions on cyberbullying by social networks to deal with hate speech and abusive conduct which can be especially harmful to young users.