Instagram has worked tirelessly over the past year to prevent trolling and abuse on the site. It still has some way to go – a report recently found Instagram was using a picture of a rape threat to advertise its service to new users – but the app has made it a priority, at least.
As part of its latest update, the photo and video-sharing app is giving you more control over comments and is introducing “kindness stickers” to promote more positivity.
People with a public account, for example, can now choose who can comment on their posts, from everyone to just people who follow them or just people they follow. If, alternatively, you have a private account – which lets you vet who follows you – you can block certain accounts from commenting on posts.
In June, Instagram introduced a filter that let public people block offensive comments in English. As part of today’s update, this feature is rolling out to allow you to filter comments in Arabic, French, German, and Portuguese. Instagram said this will “improve overtime” and it is likely to introduce new languages soon.
As the popularity of Live Video on Instagram soars, the app is now giving people better reporting tools to highlight concerning or abusive posts. Now, if you see a fellow user talking about mental health issues or even suicide via a live broadcast you can anonymously report it.
The person will see a pop-up message offering help which includes a number for a helpline. It also encourages them to speak to someone or get online support. This tool is found by clicking on the three dots in the comments bar at the bottom of the screen. Instagram said its teams work 24 hours a day, seven days a week, globally to offer this support.
And finally, as part of today’s update, Instagram lets you turn any photo or video into a “visual expression of kindness” by using the new heart-shaped sticker collection. The six stickers were made by artists and you can click on a sticker to see who designed it.
In an Instagram post (where else?), CEO Kevin Systrom wrote: “Since the beginning, we’ve tried to make Instagram a welcoming place for everyone. Our community has grown to 800 million [and] it’s more important than ever to strengthen our commitment to safety and kindness.
“Over time, we’ve launched a number of tools to help you manage the comments experience, and today we’re introducing more. We feel as strongly about creating a safe and welcoming environment today as we did when our community was just getting started.”
More information about these tools are available at Instagram-Together.com.