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Instagram Launches Keyword Based Safety Tool For Comments

The photo-sharing platform is trying to curb the hate speech in the comments.

13/09/2016 9:11 AM IST | Updated 13/09/2016 9:50 AM IST
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Instagram Chief Executive Officer and co-founder Kevin Systrom

Instagram has launched a new tool to increase safety on its platform. The new tool helps the users filter the comments on their posts based on the keyword. This is mainly to fight the hate speech which is often spread in the comments.

After the new update, the users would see a comments section in their settings. They can specify the keywords they want to be muted. The comments containing those keywords would be muted.

Philippe Wojazer / Reuters
Kevin Systrom, Chief Executive of Instagram, the popular photo-sharing app now owned by Facebook

"When Mike and I first created Instagram, we wanted it to be a welcoming community where people could share their lives. Images have the ability to inspire and bring out the best in us, whether they are funny, sad or beautiful. Over the past five years, I've watched in wonder as this community has grown to 500 million, with stories from every corner of the world. With this growth, we want to work diligently to maintain what has kept Instagram positive and safe, especially in the comments on your photos and videos," CEO and co-founder Kevin Systrom said in a blog post.

"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," he added.

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Also, this tool is just limited to the comments, Any of the users can't mute the posts. Additionally, the Facebook-owned platform allows users to delete posts, block users, and report inappropriate comments.

Traditionally, keyword based safety tools have been introduced in social networks such as Twitter but it is difficult to fight online abuse just by keywords. Trolls use various forms of languages or abbreviations to harras people.

Systrom also admitted that these tools are the only solution to the complex problem of Online abuse.

"We know tools aren't the only solution for this complex problem, but together, we can work towards keeping Instagram a safe place for self-expression. My commitment to you is that we will keep building features that safeguard the community and maintain what makes Instagram a positive and creative place for everyone," he said.

Instagram recently launched a feature called stories. The Snapchat like feature lets you post a string of pictures for 24 hours in a story.

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