By John Thomas
Instagram has released an update introducing a feature that lets users control comments on the photo and video sharing service. “The beauty of the Instagram community is the diversity of its members. All different types of people — from diverse backgrounds, races, genders, sexual orientations, abilities and more — call Instagram home, but sometimes the comments on their posts can be unkind. To empower each individual, we need to promote a culture where everyone feels safe to be themselves without criticism or harassment. It’s not only my personal wish to do this, I believe it’s also our responsibility as a company. So, today, we’re taking the next step to ensure Instagram remains a positive place to express yourself,” Instagram CEO and Co-founder Kevin Systrom wrote on the company’s official blog.
First rolled out for businesses in July, the feature has now been made default for all accounts. When you go into Settings, you will now find a new sub-menu Comments. This feature offers two options for users to avoid seeing abusive or offensive comments. You can simply turn on “Hide Inappropriate Comments” option, which hides comments containing words or phrases that are often reported as offensive. Or, you can type words into the Custom Keywords section and the comments containing such words will also be automatically hidden. “This is in addition to the tools we’ve already developed such as swiping to delete comments, reporting inappropriate comments and blocking accounts,” wrote Systrom. This, of course, does not completely solve the problem, as people come up with new spellings of offensive words, but it is certainly a step in the right direction.
The feature is now available on iOS and Android.