Instagram is all set to introduce new tools to help users deal with online harassers who flood their account with negative sentiments. The platform will soon allow people to filter out comments which contain words which they find personally offensive.
Instagram, like other social networks, already has general policies in place for what is considered acceptable speech. However, the new feature will give individuals the additional power of getting to decide what they see in their own posts. It’s a solid idea, given the fact that different people find different terms offensive.
Instagram head of public policy Nicky Jackson Colaco told the Washington Post that the company’s ultimate goal is to make the platform a safe and friendly place for self expression. It’s started slowly offering the feature to accounts which see high volume comment threads. It plans to take notes from their experience and use that to benefit its broader community.
High-profile accounts usually see the highest amount of comment activity, which is why they’ll be the first to get the option as it’s beamed out over the next couple of weeks. Everyday users are supposed to see the changes in the coming months.
In addition to letting them pick and choose offensive words, Instagram is also planning to allow consumers to turn off comments on a post-by-post basis. Again, high-volume accounts will receive this tool first, though it may be accessible by a broader audience in the near future.
Online harassment is a pretty complicated issue, with ongoing debates still discussing how involved social media platforms should be when it comes to fighting trolls. Instagram’s new tools shift the onus onto its users, letting them decide for themselves what they consider offensive and structuring their experience accordingly.