Feature Preventing Instagram Users Sending Offensive Captions

In June 2019, they introduced a feature that informs users of their comments as being potentially intimidating.


By Gaby Ndongo (2 mins read)

Social networking service Instagram has introduced a feature that notifies users when their captions are possibly offensive in a bid to counter online bullying.

An Artificial intelligence (AI) programme picks up such captions using stored data. The user is then notified and given an opportunity to change the content. AI is “the capability of machines to mimic human thinking and behaviour”, writes Financial Mail’s Nafisa Akabor.

The new feature “gives them a chance to pause and reconsider their words before posting”, said Instagram. However, Instagram has implemented this feature in “certain countries”, which have not been identified.

In June 2019, they introduced a feature that informs users of their comments as being potentially offensive.

“Results have been promising, and we’ve found that these types of nudges can encourage people to reconsider their words when given a chance,” said Instagram.

A screenshot of what happens when an offensive caption is identified. Image by Gaby Ndongo.

The platform was launched in October 2010. It now consists of a total of 1 billion+ active users on a monthly basis and 500 million+ stories each day.

Recently, Instagram made a date of birth mandatory when one creates an account. It is in the aim of creating appropriate, age-tailored experiences and so make the platform safer for young users.

The decision comes in the wake of self-harm and suicidal posts that have been shared via Instagram, including the live feed of a Norwegian teenager committing suicide.

Users have further seen an expansion of its factchecking process to the rest of the world rather than restricting the procedure to the United States (US).

The Facebook company has also removed the likes’ feature of posts in areas such as the US and Europe.

American comedian Allen DeGeneres says the act may diminish the sense of competition caused by likes and help people to focus on the visual content. TOJ

Reporting by Gaby Ndongo. Editing by Kupakwashe Kambasha and Hendrica Nkoana. Feature image by Gaby Ndongo.

2 comments on “Feature Preventing Instagram Users Sending Offensive Captions”

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