Instagram uses AI to notify users of offensive comments before posting

Instagram has introduced a new AI-powered feature that notifies users when their comment may be considered offensive before it is posted. This intervention offers users a chance to reflect and undo their comment and prevents the recipient from receiving the harmful comment notification, Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, said in a blog post.

Mosseri said that early tests of this feature showed that some users have been encouraged to undo their comment and share something less hurtful once they have had a chance to reflect.

Additionally, Instagram has also rolled out a new feature named Restrict, which allows users to protect their account from unwanted interactions and control their Instagram experience without notifying the individual who may be targeting them. Once individuals are restricted, only their comments will be visible to them. User can also choose to make a restricted person’s comments visible to others by approving their comments. Restricted individuals will not be able to see when the user is active on Instagram or when their direct messages have been read.


“It’s our responsibility to create a safe environment on Instagram. This has been an important priority for us for some time, and we are continuing to invest in better understanding and tackling this problem. I look forward to sharing more updates soon,” Mosseri said.

Instagram has been using AI to detect bullying and other types of harmful content in comments, photos and videos. Last year, it announced that it will filter bullying comments intended to harass or upset individuals in the Instagram Community. In 2017, it developed a filter to block certain offensive comments on posts and in live video. All other comments will appear as they normally do and users can still report comments, delete them or turn them off. Meanwhile, the spam filter it introduced in 2017 will also look for obvious spam in comments, blocking it from live posts and live videos. The filter removes spam written in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, French, German, Russian, Japanese and Chinese.

Besides creating a safe community for users, Instagram is also working to help advertisers benefit from its platform. In June this year, it introduced branded content ads, allowing advertisers to promote creators’ organic branded posts as feed ads. The ads, however, will appear as “paid partnership with” along with the brand name on each post to maintain ad transparency.

In a bid to drum up awareness for IGTV and Shopping, it rolled out a new navigator bar in the Explore section to bring much more immersive IGTV and Shopping experiences to Explore. Shortcuts to IGTV and Shopping are pinned to the front of the navigation bar, making it easier for users to find products and videos from brands and creators they love.

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(Photo courtesy: 123RF)

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