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Instagram update is an important step toward combating online abuse

by Brandon Russell | December 6, 2016December 6, 2016 2:00 pm PDT

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The larger Instagram becomes, the more toxic its community gets. But before the platform turns into a place dominated by hate, Instagram is taking action.

Earlier this year, Instagram introduced tools that allowed users to hide and filter inappropriate language. Now, the service will soon allow users to have greater control over comments—and even turn them off completely.

Users will also be able to like specific comments, which Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom says “encourages positivity throughout the community.”

Additionally, private accounts have the option to remove followers, which is a feature that has curiously been missing.

“This is an important way for people to feel comfortable sharing with close friends and family,” Systrom wrote. “In the past, once you approved a follower, there was no simple way to undo that decision without blocking them.”

That changes in an upcoming update.

A place to get help

Instagram is also introducing a feature that allows users to anonymously report a person who shows signs of distress. If you see someone who may be thinking of hurting themselves, reporting them will connect them with someone who can help.

“We have teams working 24 hour a day, seven days a week, around the world to review these reports,” Systrom said.

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Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell enjoys writing about technology and entertainment. When he's not watching Back to the Future, you can find him on a hike or watching...


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