Instagram is rolling out a new keyword moderation tool today, as the Facebook-owned photo and video platform looks to help its 500 million-plus community filter out comments they find offensive.
The initiative represents an extension of a program first unveiled for businesses and celebrities a couple of months back, with model Christine Teigen tweeting out a handful of notable examples of words she was planning to block from the comments section on her published photos.
— christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) August 2, 2016
Now, the keyword filtering tool is being made available to anyone on mobile. To access the feature, hit the little gear / three-dot icon on your profile, tap on “Comments,” and then activate “Hide Inappropriate Comments” which switches on Instagram’s default list of often-reported troll words, though you can also manually input terms too, meaning those comments will be hidden from view.
“The beauty of the Instagram community is the diversity of its members,” said Instagram cofounder and CEO Kevin Systrom in a blog post. “All different types of people — from diverse backgrounds, races, genders, sexual orientations, abilities and more — call Instagram home, but sometimes the comments on their posts can be unkind. To empower each individual, we need to promote a culture where everyone feels safe to be themselves without criticism or harassment. It’s not only my personal wish to do this, I believe it’s also our responsibility as a company. So, today, we’re taking the next step to ensure Instagram remains a positive place to express yourself.”
Online abuse has emerged as a key pain point for social networks, with Twitter often hitting the headlines for its role in enabling bullying online — this is why Twitter is rumored to be working on an anti-harassment tool similar to what Instagram has here. But that has yet to materialize.