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Instagram introduces tools to limit online bullying

Instagram Anti-Bullying

While the tech world was busy discovering Google’s newest toys, Instagram on Tuesday announced the introduction of new safety features meant to reduce online bullying and encourage the spread of kindness. No, seriously, that’s what Instagram wants to do going forward, according to a blog post penned by Instagram’s new chief executive, Adam Mosseri.

Instagram users can already report content that violates the service’s guidelines, but the new tools Facebook’s subsidiary just announced are meant to automatically detect bullying. Instagram is now using machine learning to “proactively detect bullying in photos and their captions and send them to our Community Operations team to review,” Mosseri explains.

The technology has started rolling out already and will continue to proliferate in the coming weeks. The exec said the tool will help those users who don’t usually report bullying, including younger audiences.

Instagram also said that its bullying comment filter is now coming to live videos as well. As you can see in the following set of screenshots, Instagram will be able to automatically hide offensive comments. Furthermore, users will be able to add manual filters to aid the algorithm.

Image source: Instagram

The other feature Instagram just introduced is the Kindness camera effect. Instagram partnered with Maddie Ziegler to launch the new effect and inspire positivity. If you follow Maddie, you already have the new camera effect. Here’s what the it does:

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. If you switch to the rear camera, you’ll see an overlay of kind comments in many languages. If you aren’t a follower of Maddie but you see someone else with the effect, tap “try it” to add it to your camera.

Of course, it’s a lot easier to fake kindness than to actually be kind, so you should remember this is just an effect.

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he closely follows the events in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises. Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.