Instagram CEO and co-founder Kevin Systrom announced that Instagram will be testing out new features that will filter certain comments (whether they are offensive or spam) in a blog post on Instagram’s official blog.

Here is the blog post in full:

“Today, we’re introducing two new tools to help keep Instagram a safe place for self-expression — a filter to block certain offensive comments and a spam filter in nine languages. These tools are the next step in our commitment to foster kind, inclusive communities on Instagram.

Blocking Offensive Comments

Many of you have told us that toxic comments discourage you from enjoying Instagram and expressing yourself freely. To help, we’ve developed a filter that will block certain offensive comments on posts and in live video. All other comments will appear as they normally do and you can still report comments, delete comments or turn them off. Also, you can always turn this filter off. To access it, click the “…” settings menu from the profile and scroll to tap “Comments.”

We’ll launch this comment filter in English first, but will offer it in more languages over time.

Reducing Spam in Comments

The spam filter looks for any obvious spam in comments, blocking it from your posts and live videos. The filter will remove spam written in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, French, German, Russian, Japanese and Chinese.

Powered by machine learning, today’s filters are our latest tools to keep Instagram a safe place. Our team has been training our systems for some time to recognize certain types of offensive and spammy comments so you never have to see them. The tools will improve over time, enabling the community’s experience of sharing to improve as well. We hope to make these filters available in more languages as our algorithms improve.

We believe that using machine learning to build tools to safeguard self-expression is an important step in fostering more inclusive, kinder communities. Our work is far from finished and perfect, but I hope we’re helping you feel safer and more welcome on Instagram.

Kevin Systrom
CEO & Co-founder, Instagram”

These new features seem to belong to the new social media movement from Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to filter out offensive content completely from their websites after numerous complaints from users and advertisers and also after many of these offensive posts have been reported on by the news.

Also, these social media websites seem to be focusing on making an online community for people due to the recent wave of hate on social media; recently Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook will be changing their mission to “bring the world closer together” in a speech at Facebook’s first Communities Summit.

It is no surprise that social media websites have been changing how content that can be deemed offensive is viewed after Facebook and Twitter have been used multiple times to promote offensive content and when terrorist groups were posting propaganda videos to YouTube.

Facebook has previously discussed how they view offensive comment and how they will be using AI to join the fight against online terrorism; YouTube has discussed how they will handle offensive content/online terrorism moving forward (one way is by taking away monetization from videos deemed offensive, but this has also forced many creators off of YouTube and to other platforms) and apparently Twitter will possibly allow users to flag anything deemed to be fake news.

It seems that social media websites are taking the necessary steps to take down offensive content off of their websites, but hopefully it won’t be taken too far (unfortunately for YouTube, that already has since the website wants to please its advertisers).

Featured image via Pixabay