‘Are you sure you want to post this?’ Instagram introduces new anti-bullying features

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  • Social network Instagram will introduce new features that will challenge users before posting something that might be considered bullying, and the ability for users to block others in secret.

    Users will be now notified when Instagram suspects that comments might be considered offensive, and has been introduced as the British government are working to develop regulations to make social media platforms responsible for harmful material.

    The company has shared this update on their Twitter account, stating that they have a ‘commitment to lead the fight against online bullying’.

    Read more: What is cyberbullying? How to spot if your child is being bullied online

    The first feature sends a notification to users who may be posting comments that are offensive or could cause distress in some way, asking if they’re ‘sure’ they want to go ahead and post the comment. Instagram shared an example of this on their blog post.


    Credit: Instagram

    Read more: A parental guide to helping your kids stay safe online

    As well as giving users the chance to reflect on potentially offensive comments, the social network will also allow users to block bothersome accounts without them knowing they’ve been blocked. This new feature is called ‘Restrict’.

    This extension of the block feature has come about based on feedback from users, who may feel reluctant to block users that they know in real life as it could escalate the situation.

    In response to this feedback, Instagram said: ‘We wanted to create a feature that allows people to control their Instagram experience, without notifying someone who may be targeting them.’


    Credit: Instagram

    Describing this new feature, they wrote: ‘Once you Restrict someone, comments on your posts from that person will only be visible to that person.

    ‘You can choose to make a restricted person’s comments visible to others by approving their comments. Restricted people won’t be able to see when you’re active on Instagram or when you’ve read their direct messages.’

    CEO Adam Mosseri has spoken about the changes, saying: ‘It’s our responsibility to create a safe environment’

    ‘This has been an important priority for us for some time, and we are continuing to invest in better understanding and tackling this problem.’