Instagram unveils new anti-bullying tools

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FILE- In this March 13, 2019, file photo Facebook, Messenger and Instagram apps are are displayed on an iPhone in New York. Facebook said Wednesday, March 27, that it is broadening its definition of hate speech to apply to “white nationalists” and “white separatists.” The company previously allowed posts from those groups even though it […]

Instagram officially unveiled a new way to fight cyberbullying on Monday with a feature the social media giant is calling “Restrict.” It will change the way users restrict access to their account. Using Restrict means the person being blocked will not realize it’s happening.

In an exclusive interview last month, Instagram head Adam Mosseri, told “CBS This Morning” Gayle King how this new feature will help give users more control.

“So the idea that we’re exploring right now is one that we call ‘Restrict.’ So it’s an action you can take on an account that preserves plausible deniability,” Mosseri said. “They can’t find out that you restricted them … so if they’re going to comment on your posts, you get to decide whether or not anybody else can see that comment or not … and that their direct messages will show up in the other inbox so that you will only see it if you decide to go into that space. And we’re exploring a range of other things, too. How can we give you a bit more control over your experience on the platform without the bully finding out so you can keep tabs on what’s happening but not be quite at the mercy of the actor that you were in the beginning.”

Testing of the “Restrict” feature will begin later this month.

Instagram also announced an AI-powered feature that identifies comments that may be considered offensive before the user posts it. The tool aims to give people a chance to “reflect and undo their comment” before posting it.

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