Instagram launched a big bunch of useful new tools this week to combat harassment and help its community members.
The first of these tools is one that has been requested by users for quite some time now: the ability to limit who can comment on your photos. Now, Instagram gives everyone with a public account the ability to limit comments only to people they follow, people who follow them or both.
Public and private accounts will still have the ability to turn off comments completely, but it appears to still be on a post-by-post basis.
In addition, Instagram is expanding its offensive comment filter to four other languages: Arabic, French, German and Portuguese. The tool was launched in June for the English language and uses AI and machine learning to improve over time and take into account both the wording of a comment and its context.
When it comes to live Instagram videos, the company is also adding the ability for viewers to send mental health resources to the broadcaster mid-stream. This has the potential to be an incredibly meaningful addition to the platform – especially since there have been occasional reports of people broadcasting self-harm and death since the launch of Facebook Live.
According to a Buzzfeed report, Instagram already allowed its users to report posts for including references to self-harm and suicide and would present reported posters with resources to help assist them. But, now, Instagram will actively pop up its information in the middle of a live stream, rather than waiting until it has ended to offer help.
A stream won't stop just because the information has popped up, so streamers will have the ability to ignore it or read it and then return to the broadcast.
Nevertheless, we admire Instagram's active effort to help struggling users, and we hope it hels in the fight against online harassment and offensive interaction!