Instagram is testing a new tool to deal with harassment

Instagram is testing a new tool to deal with harassment

Instagram director Adam Mosseri has confirmed that the company is testing a new feature called “Limits.” This is a feature that allows users to temporarily lock down their account when they are targeted by a large amount of harassment.

The new feature was announced in Moselli’s video released on July 22nd. In this video, he blames racism on the Instagram platform after the Euro 2020 final, and the company is working to improve both internal and user tools to solve this problem.

After the England team lost in the Euro 2020 final on July 11, 2021, angry fans made racist comments about the team’s Bukayo Saka, Marcus Rashford and Jadon. Instagram commented and accused racist insults of terrible harassment of three Sancho players.

At that time, Moseri was trying to use technology to prioritize reports from users, at which time some of the reports were not distributed to human moderators, mistakenly making non-malicious comments. Explained that it was treated as.

One of the reasons why it is difficult to judge is that many harassing comments use emoji, and Instagram’s system could not understand that the meaning of emoji changes depending on the context.

On July 22, Moseri reaffirmed the Instagram error and said he had fixed the problem. According to him, Instagram was steadily deleting comments on the three players, but the behavior of reports from users was unpredictable.

He added that Instagram receives millions of reports a day, and if 1% of them are accidentally left unattended, tens of thousands of problematic posts will remain on the platform.

Moseri mentioned tools that help users deal directly with harassment of their accounts and avoid insults. There are tools such as “block” and “restriction”. “Restrictions” are tools that allow you to approve someone’s comments before they’re seen by others, or read someone’s message unread.

A recently added tool called “Hidden Words” can block certain keywords for both comments and direct messages.

“Limits” is a feature that allows you to limit comments and reactions that you don’t want to see in a simple setting, so it would have helped footballers.

Social media consultant Matt Navarra introduced this feature in early July. Sharing screenshots showing how it works, but Instagram hasn’t officially announced it so far.

When you look at the shared image, users who have this feature will see a new section in Instagram’s privacy settings called “Limits” that will temporarily send comments and messages to specific groups of followers. It is explained that it can be restricted.

Users can turn restrictions on and off for groups. There is a group of recently followed and unfollowed accounts that may include spam accounts or recently created accounts just for harassment. When a large amount of insult is received, it is rarely from a longtime follower, often from a newly followed account created for harassment.

The user can also set the period of restriction on a daily or weekly basis.

An Instagram spokeswoman acknowledged that it behaved like this image and said it would be a useful tool in dealing with “cases of intense harassment and insults”.

Moseri explained in detail that Limits are effective in various situations as follows. “Some people may be out of the group or just transferred to high school. Some professional soccer players may be heavily harassed. In many cases, people are temporarily in pain. We can be exposed and we want to provide tools to protect ourselves in such cases.”

Instagram didn’t say when the feature would be publicly available, but said it would test it on mobile apps in some countries for the foreseeable future.

Rachel Maga
Rachel Maga is a technology journalist currently working at Globe Live Media agency. She has been in the Technology Journalism field for over 5 years now. Her life's biggest milestone is the inside tour of Tesla Industries, which was gifted to her by the legend Elon Musk himself.