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Instagram Adds Features to Prevent Online Bullying


Online bullying is real and can be traumatic for its victims. But it’s not just a problem for social interactions; many businesses suffer online bullying, often from unhappy customers or competitors. 

Competitors are often the first people businesses blame when they receive negative reviews or comments online. The struggle is also real. Some businesses do recruit customers to post negative reviews, ratings and comments in an effort to sink their competition. 

The pain business owners feel is also often compounded by the sometimes difficult challenges they experience when attempting to delete the reviews from their accounts. The plain enormity of businesses who are all contacting Google, Facebook and Instagram on a daily basis makes businesses frustrated by waiting in line for a response. 

Deleting negative comments is much easier, but still when comments sit for hours or even days with public scrutiny, business owners can be upset by even the momentary negativity. 

All the platforms make every attempt to engage AI and machine learning in an effort to make dealing with these issues more efficient. And Instagram is now at the forefront creating AI options that automate bullying prevention.

Recently they announced several new additions that are useful to business owners who deal with negative comments. Specifically, suggestions to discourage negative comments and restrictive commenting.

The suggestion feature is automated by Instagram. “In the last few days, we started rolling out a new feature powered by AI that notifies people when their comment may be considered offensive before it’s posted. This intervention gives people a chance to reflect and undo their comment and prevents the recipient from receiving the harmful comment notification. From early tests of this feature, we have found that it encourages some people to undo their comment and share something less hurtful once they have had a chance to reflect.” (Via Instagram)

The restriction feature is likely more useful for business owners. This feature allows users to restrict users who tend to positive negative comments without the user knowing they have been restricted. The user continues to see their own comments, but the general public can not see the negative comments. 

Unlike blocking, where the user is aware of being banned from a page. Restrictions don’t inform the user of their status, making it less likely for them to grow offended or angered. 

We wanted to create a feature that allows people to control their Instagram experience, without notifying someone who may be targeting them. Soon, we will begin testing a new way to protect your account from unwanted interactions called Restrict. Once you Restrict someone, comments on your posts from that person will only be visible to that person. You can choose to make a restricted persons comments visible to others by approving their comments. Restricted people won’t be able to see when you’re active on Instagram or when you’ve read their direct messages,” Instagram describes. 

Online bullying is a source of stress for business owners. Cote Media helps ease our clients fear of bullying by staying informed of all these developments then putting them into action when required. Looking for someone to manage your social media campaigns? Message us today!