Instagram: Watch Your Words

By Paige Hinton | January 15, 2020

Instagram released a new flagging system to notify users when their posts and comments are potentially offensive. Will it work?

What is it?

I recently read about a feature that Instagram is implementing in their platform, and found it interesting. The new feature would flag comments that appear in any way to be potentially offensive before they actually get posted. It will monitor captions as well as comments on other Instagram posts. It won’t stop the comment or caption from being posted, but it will allow the user to reconsider their hateful remarks before deciding to hit that little button to post.

Instagram believes that the little nudges given by their preemptive flagging system will help users to cut down on bullying taking place on the social media platform. They also hope that it will educate users about what sorts of things aren’t allowed on Instagram, and also when accounts may be at risk of being disabled due to rule violations.

When posting something that may potentially be offensive, the following notification will appear: “This caption looks similar to others that have been reported.” The user then has the option to click to learn more, edit their comment, or follow through with sharing their post.

Will it work?

I personally feel that the world is filled with enough hate, and it would be such a wonderful thing if a social media platform were created that completely filtered out any rude or unnecessary comments or posts. Although this will likely never happen with Instagram, they have rolled out some different features to help those who may be affected by online bullying. Users can choose to turn off or filter comments on their posts, remove followers, and mute accounts among other things.

Technology is such a powerful tool. Social media platforms, such as Instagram, are bringing people together from all over the world. However, they are also tearing the world apart at the same time. I imagine that most people who post hateful content wont blink an eye at their content being flagged, and they will continue on with their post. Perhaps some may have second thoughts, but people feel much more comfortable sharing their hateful comments from behind their screens. It’s too bad that this feature is arriving about 10 years too late, as Instagram was founded about a decade ago. This feature is rolling out slowly, but it’s projected to be rolled out globally sometime this year.

Spread love, not hate!

Let this be your little daily reminder to conduct yourself with kindness and dignity when you post online. Social media is an awesome tool, and lets keep it that way!

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