Bullying has long been an issue, and in today’s digitally-connected world, cyberbullying is a serious problem. Instagram announced that it wants to address this problem using artificial intelligence. Instagram AI will smartly detect cyberbullying in photos posted on the social network.
The new head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, said cyberbullying is still a major issue and a complicated problem that affects a lot of users.
“While the majority of photos shared on Instagram are positive and bring people joy, occasionally a photo is shared that is unkind or unwelcome,” Mosseri said in a statement. We are now using machine learning technology to proactively detect bullying in photos and their captions and send them to our Community Operations team to review.”
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Instagram users can now report bullying every time they stumble across it in the sea of photos posted on the social network. Instagram AI will determine whether the content violates the platforms guidelines, thereby detecting bullying in photos.
Instagram has begun to roll out the new technology, which should spread to more users in the coming weeks. Mosseri said the new tool will help users report bullying, especially younger members who don’t usually have the courage to report it.
Following Facebook’s example, Instagram’s cyberbullying comment filter will also appear on the Live Videos on its network. According to Instagram, the tool will automatically hide inappropriate comments which focus on bullying. Users can also add manual filters which support the Instagram AI algorithm.
Cyberbullying has been a big focus recently, and many tech companies are trying to address it after facing scrutiny for not providing better security for users exposed to cyberbullying. Facebook hired thousands of people to examine content and see if it violates the network’s rules of conduct. However, since it’s hard to look at all of the massive amount of content posted to social media every day, it’s difficult to keep up with people who post offensive content.
“While stopping bullies is important, we must also do more to celebrate and inspire kindness on Instagram,” Mosseri stated.
He previously worked on Facebook’s News Feed and was announced as the head of Instagram in the beginning of the month after co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger announced they were leaving the company last month.
To mark National Bullying Prevention Month in the U.S., Instagram added a Kindness Camera Effect with Maddie Ziegler to encourage spreading positivity on the network. In selfie mode, hearts will appear on the screen, and users can use this opportunity to tag a friend they want to support.
Instagram has a long way to go before it will be a safe social network. Nevertheless, with Instagram AI, Mosseri said the social network is “pleased to announce these new ways to combat bullying.”