Instagram Fights Back Against Online Abuse

Posted by on Dec 7, 2016 in ComLead

Social media has allowed us to connect with people from around the world sharing laughter, thoughts, empathy, and beyond. It is a platform for people to exhibit courageous leadership and inspire others, it has created a new avenue for marketers and advertisers to reach and connect with customers, and it has helped spread the word for many great causes and organizations. However, the continuous growth and importance of social media in our lives has come at a cost. We are hearing and witnessing more and more instances of social media platforms being used to bully, harass and verbally abuse others in a very public way. The light at the end of the tunnel is the acknowledgment of this misuse by the social media companies themselves.

Instagram recently announced that they will be rolling out new tools available to users in the next few weeks that will help them to protect themselves and others from online abuse. Users will now be able to remove comments and filter out specific followers. These tools will be added on to previous additions Instagram has made in the past. Three months ago the social media platform started allowing users to filter out abusive words from comments. They also started giving users the ability to anonymously report concern if they see another user at risk of suicide or self-harm.

The ability to comment on social media platforms really opens up a “breeding ground for bullying.” A Pew Research Center study from 2014 reported that 4 out of 10 internet users have experienced online bullying and the comments section showed up as one of the most common venues for the bullying.

In an effort to continue the fight against online abuse and increase positivity towards one another, Instagram will start allowing users to “like” individual comments. Users with private accounts will also be allowed to remove followers, something they did not have the ability to do before.

This world will always be in need of more positivity, more kindness, and more love- 3 things you can never have too much of. It is refreshing to see Instagram and other social media platforms taking control and helping to stomp out the negativity and hate.

Resources: New York Times article Instagram Introduces New Tools Meant to Curb Abuse and Expand Privacy



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