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Instagram Announces a Unique Feature to Curb Online Bullying

This move gives people a chance to reflect and undo their comment and prevents the recipient from receiving the harmful comment notification

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Facebook, Messenger and Instagram apps are displayed on an iPhone, March 13, 2019, in New York. VOA

To curb online bullying, Facebook-owned Instagram has announced a unique feature where a user can “shadow ban” or “restrict” a bully from commenting on his or her posts.

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.

“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,” Adam Mosseri, Head of Instagram, announced late Monday.

“We wanted to create a feature that allows people to control their Instagram experience, without notifying someone who may be targeting them”.

In this upcoming feature, “restricted” people won’t be able to see when you’re active on Instagram or when you’ve read their direct messages.

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FILE – The Instagram icon is displayed on a mobile screen in Los Angeles. VOA

Instagram is using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to detect bullying and other types of harmful content in comments, photos and videos.

“We have started rolling out a new feature powered by AI that notifies people when their comment may be considered offensive before it’s posted,” informed Mosseri.

This move gives people a chance to reflect and undo their comment and prevents the recipient from receiving the harmful comment notification.

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“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,” said Instagram head.

“We can do more to prevent bullying from happening on Instagram, and we can do more to empower the targets of bullying to stand up for themselves,” he added. (IANS)

Next Story

Facebook Removes Fake Accounts From Russia, Iran, Vietnam and Myanmar

Facebook purges more fake accounts from Russia, Iran

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) Facebook has removed three networks of accounts, Pages and Groups for engaging in foreign or government interference on Facebook and Instagram. Pixabay

Facebook has removed three networks of accounts, Pages and Groups for engaging in foreign or government interference on Facebook and Instagram that originated in Russia, Iran, Vietnam and Myanmar.

The first operation originated in Russia and primarily targeted Ukraine and its neighbouring countries and the second originated in Iran and focused mainly on the US.

“The third network originated in Myanmar and Vietnam and targeted audiences in Myanmar. Each of them created networks of accounts to mislead others about who they were and what they were doing,” Nathaniel Gleicher, Head of Security Policy, said in a blog post late Wednesday.

Facebook removed 78 accounts, 11 Pages, 29 Groups and four Instagram accounts in Russia for violating its policy against foreign or government interference.

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Facebook also removed 6 Facebook accounts and 5 Instagram accounts that were involved in foreign interference as part of a small network originating in Iran that primarily focused on the US. Pixabay

Some of these accounts represented themselves as citizen journalists and tried to contact policymakers, journalists and other public figures in the region.

“Although the people behind this network attempted to conceal their identities and coordination, our investigation found links to Russian military intelligence services,” said Gleicher.

Facebook also removed 6 Facebook accounts and 5 Instagram accounts that were involved in foreign interference as part of a small network originating in Iran that primarily focused on the US.

They shared posts about political news and geopolitics including topics like the US elections, Christianity, US-Iran relations, US immigration policy, criticism of US policies in the Middle East and public figures.

“Finally, we removed 13 Facebook accounts and 10 Pages for violating our policy against coordinated inauthentic behaviour. This Myanmar-focused activity originated in Myanmar and Vietnam,” said the company.

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The individuals behind this network used fake accounts to manage Pages posing as independent telecom consumer news hubs. They also purported to be customers of some of the telecom providers in Myanmar posting critical commentary about those companies and their services.

The investigation found links to two telecom providers — Mytel in Myanmar and Viettel in Vietnam, and Gapit Communications, a PR firm in Vietnam. (IANS)