Cyber bullying: Instagram to fight abuse with new ‘Are you sure?’ update

Instagram is ready for the battle against social media abuse. With so much happening on the photo-video sharing platform, this update would certainly come in handy. Now, before posting a ‘mean’ comment, the new anti-cyber bullying tool would prompt users to reconsider. In addition, the media platform plans to roll out another tool to further curb online harassment.


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It’s been a long time coming for Instagram, on the topic of abuse

The world’s 6th most active social media platform is finally taking ‘real’ steps to flush out abuse.

Instagram, which is ranked the worst social app for causing depression, has been under pressure to act on bullying. In the past, tragic occurrences — like the suicide of teenager Molly Russell, had all been linked to the platform.

Ever since, it had all been talk, no action.
“We are undertaking a full review of our enforcement policies and technologies around self-harm, suicide and eating disorders. As part of this, we are consulting further with mental health bodies and academics to understand what more we can do to protect and support our community, especially young people,” a spokesperson for Instagram said in January, following the suicide incident.

Another wake-up call was when celebrity and mega Instagram star, Selena Gomez, declared she deleted the app because it made her depressed.

And now the wait is over — a new tool is ready!

So chief executive for the platform,  Adam Mosseri (@mosseri) announced yesterday:
“We know bullying is a challenge many face, particularly young people…We can do more to prevent bullying from happening on Instagram, and empower the targets of bullying to stand up for themselves. Today we’re announcing one new feature in both areas.”


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Are you sure?  Instagram is asking all bullies to rethink their comments before posting


The new tool is simply a question for all: Are you sure?”
In a blog post, Instagram demonstrated how their tool would “give people a chance to reflect and undo their comment”, before causing harm.

cyber bullying

“From early tests of this feature, we have found that it encourages some people to undo their comment and share something less hurtful once they have had a chance to reflect”


While the former feature is targeted at the bullies themselves, Instagram also did the smart thing of considering victims.

“We also need to empower our community to stand up to this kind of behavior. We’ve heard from young people in our community that they’re reluctant to block, unfollow, or report their bully because it could escalate the situation, especially if they interact with their bully in real life”, Mosseri explained.

“We wanted to create a feature that allows people to control their Instagram experience, without notifying someone who may be targeting them. Soon, we will begin testing a new way to protect your account from unwanted interactions called Restrict.”

With the Restrict tool, only the abuser would see comments they left on your post.

“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”, Mr Mosseri added.

Instagram’s Restrict tool which will be tested out soon
Cyber bullying: Instagram to fight abuse with new ‘Are you sure?’ update

Furthermore, Adam Mosseri promised to work more with the team to find other solutions to cyber bullying.

Along the line, Instagram would similarly announce these solutions.

“It’s our responsibility to create a safe environment on Instagram. This has been an important priority for us for some time, and we are continuing to invest in better understanding and tackling this problem”

So far, users are excited. “🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻 great step in the right direction”, one user said. “This is really great👏. People fall into depression and have all this serious medical problems due to cyber bullying and stuff. This is a really great way of minimizing it❤️”, another added.

“I love this so much! It’s so easy for people to hide behind their screens and attack others.”

Look out for this tool in your next update 😉

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Amanda Lucy


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