Instagram is taking steps to curb bullying on its platform, in what is being dubbed an “anti-bullying tool”. It certainly looks good, but will it work?

We all know about those keyboard warriors across social media, sometimes it can feel like no matter what you say someone is going to try and take a pop at you. Of course, depending on your circles and your social media bubble, it can be relatively light – for some, the torment and bullying is much worse than minor arguments. Instagram has been under a lot of pressure recently to deal with this cyber bullying, after many high profile cases.

Credit: Instagram, info centre

What does this tool do? It’s an AI based tool which will recognise text that resembles the kind of posts that are most often reported as inappropriate by users. In examples shown by Instagram, the tool will pop up and say “Are you sure you want to post this? Learn more”. Learn more prompts a notice which says “we are asking people to rethink comments that seem similar to others that have been reported”.

Users can choose to ignore the message and post anyway, but Instagram have claimed that early tests found it encouraged people to undo their comment, and rethink their phrasing.

Our take away from this? We really hope it will work, but what it does mean is that we should continue and (food for thought) increase the amount of reporting we do when we spot horrible, abusive comments on the platform. If the AI is working based on the posts reported most often, we can all help shape the platform by being responsible for the content on there, and reporting what we deem as “cyber bullying” content.

Another feature… Instagram are also going to be rolling out a second tool called “Restrict” – this is designed to help teens filter abusive comments without needing to block others. Many people are afraid to block on social media platforms, incase it escalates a situation in the real world, so the idea of being able to filter comments is great for avoiding cyber bullying. A restricted user won’t even know that they are restricted. We think that this is a great idea.