INNOVATION

Instagram Steps Up Fight Against Bullying, Allows Users To Disable Comments

We'd double-tap that.

07/12/2016 9:31 AM AEDT | Updated 07/12/2016 10:57 AM AEDT
Instagram
The platform wants to create a safer place for self-expression.

Instagram has been rolling out some exciting features lately, but its latest update is perhaps the most significant to date: giving users the ability to disable comments on posts of their choosing as well as 'like' individual comments.

Prior to Wednesday, blocking comments was only available to a select group of verified users, mainly celebrities. But since it's becoming increasingly apparent that non-celebrities are too, the victims of online abuse, the network has stepped up its game.

As for liking comments it will be a similar model to that of Facebook, where you tap the heart icon next to any comment.

Instagram's CEO and co-founder, Kevin Systrom said in a blog post that both of the new features are part of its ongoing commitment to keeping the platform safe and welcoming for everyone.

Instagram
'Liking' comments has never felt so good.

In September the platform rolled out a custom keyword filter for comments to help people control their experience on their own content (get rid of spammy or inappropriate comments) but the latest update means you can turn comments off completely.

"Sometimes there may be moments when you want to let your post stand on its own," Systrom said.

Users with a private account will also be able to remove followers, without blocking them.

With more than 500 million users, it's near impossible to please everyone. But it's clear the platform is keen to move into a more positive space, which is a move we can all get behind.

How can I turn off the comments?

Tap "Advanced Settings" before you post and then select "Turn Off Commenting". You can also tap the ... menu any time after posting to turn commenting back on.

If I have a private account, can I remove followers?

Correct. In the past, once you approved a follower, there wasn't a simple way to undo that decision without blocking them. This new feature makes that a whole lot easier and means you can remove someone without them being notified. Simply go to your list of followers and tap the ... menu next to any person's name. The person will not be notified that you removed them as a follower.

Can I still anonymously report self-injury posts?

Indeed. The platform will continue the feature which allows users to anonymously report if they believe that someone may be thinking about injuring themselves. Instagram will then connect this person to organisations that offer help.

A Note from Kevin Systrom (@kevin): In September, I shared our commitment to keeping Instagram a positive place for self-expression with the introduction of a keyword filter for comments. Today, I'd like to tell you about new commenting features that we're launching. In the coming weeks, you'll be able to turn off comments on any of your posts. Previously this was only available for a small number of accounts. You'll be able to tap "Advanced Settings" then select "Turn Off Commenting." You can also tap the ... menu any time after posting to turn comments back on. Also, we're adding the ability to like comments by tapping a heart icon next to any comment. Liking lets you show support and encourages positivity throughout the community. These updates still mark the beginning. We will continue to work to maintain Instagram as a welcoming and safe place for everyone. To learn more about these tools and others, check out help.instagram.com. Kevin Systrom Co-Founder & CEO

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