Instagram is fighting bullying and spreading happiness with new tools

Instagram this week introduced new features to help fight online bullying in its community of users.

In an announcement yesterday, new man-in-charge Adam Mosseri revealed the anti-bullying tools, saying that “there is no place for bullying on Instagram”.

“That’s why today we’re announcing our latest tools to help combat bullying, including a new way to identify and report bullying in photos,” he explained.

By using machine learning Instagram will now be able to detect harmful content in pictures and captions so that they can be removed accordingly.

“This change will help us identify and remove significantly more bullying — and it’s a crucial next step since many people who experience or observe bullying don’t report it,” said Mosseri.

Though the social media platform already has a bullying comment filter “to proactively detect and hide bullying comments from Feed, Explore and Profile”, it is now bringing the feature to Live Videos too.

Lastly, in an attempt to spread positivity on Instagram, Mosseri revealed a new “kindness” camera effect.

The effect is the result of a collaboration with popular teen Maddie Ziegler, who you might recognise as the dancer in Sia’s music videos.

“Maddie has been speaking out against online bullying since she started experiencing it and is one of many people in our community that uses Instagram to promote positivity,” Mosseri continued.

This camera effect will appear in your stories automatically if you already follow Ziegler, but if you don’t you can add it whenever you come across someone else who has used it on their stories.

“In selfie mode, hearts will fill the screen — and you’ll be encouraged to tag a friend you want to support. Your friend will receive a notification that you mentioned them in your story. They can share it to their own story or use the camera effect to spread kindness to someone else.”

Kind comments in multiple languages also decorate your background when you use the filter through your rear camera.

These new features are already rolling out globally. According to Mosseri, the platform will continue to develop ways to “protect the community so that you can safely be yourself on Instagram”.

Feature image: Instagram

Shereesa Moodley


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