How social medias are trying to fight cyberbullying

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

Online bullying is a real and complex issue that social media platforms are faced with, now more than ever. On one hand, it is logical to think that social networks should monitor and forbid what is considered harmful and/or offensive. On the other hand, those networks promote authenticity and connections. Their promise to offer a safe place for everyone to voice their opinion is what makes telling apart good from bad content.

On December 16th, Instagram announced that they were expanding their initiative against online bullying. This comes after Instagram implemented a feature that notifies accounts when their comments are considered “offensive”. With this expansion, their AI system will also be used to analyze captions. Once captions are flagged as offensive, the account will be notified but will still have the choice to post it. Instagram says that the simple warning is helpful to “educate people” on what is allowed and what isn’t.

This is not the only measure Instagram has put in place to help create a safer online environment. In July, it implemented “Restrict“, a feature that allows users to limit and control the comments that are visible on their posts. Instagram believes that “identifying and removing bullying on Instagram is important, [but that they] also need to empower our community to stand up to this kind of behavior.” Once someone restricts an account, its comments will not be visible on any posts (there is a possibility of approving individual comments) and this account will not have insights on when you’re active and read messages.

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