Bullies don’t just stick to the playground. Most of them take their abusive, offensive and rude behaviour with them when they go home. Then they sit in front of a computer, iPad or phone and continue to bash out the bullying. 

Well, enough is enough. Instagram has joined the anti-bullying brigade with a new bullying filter. It comes as more and more frustrated parents are fighting back against bullies who hurt their kids.

This Instagram bullying filter aims to prevent bullies, trolls and keyboard warriors from attacking people online. And, with so many teens and tweens using Instagram – and not always for good – it’s about time!

‘To be clear: we don’t tolerate bullying on Instagram’ 

If you’re on Instagram – or if your kid uses the app – then you may notice a few changes in newsfeeds. The biggest change? Bullying is no longer allowed in comments. 

Instagram co-founder and CEO Kevin Systrom announced that, starting this week, a new bullying filter will work on all private and public Instagram accounts.

“Since Mike and I founded Instagram, it’s been our goal to make it a safe place for self-expression and to foster kindness within the community,” Steve said. “To be clear, we don’t tolerate bullying on Instagram.”

Instagram bullying filter

The Instagram bullying filter will automatically hide comments intended to harass or upset people. These include comments containing attacks on a person’s appearance or character, as well as threats to a person’s well-being or health. The new filter will also alert Instagram to repeated problems so they can take action.

Promote kindness, not keyboard warriors 

The Instagram bullying filter is part of an overall campaign to promote kindness for their 800 million users.

Starting this week, you will also see a new way to choose who can comment on your posts. Account holders can chose to allow everyone to comment, just certain groups of people or all followers. Users can also block other accounts from commenting on their posts.

Instagram has also updated their previous offensive comments filter to block abusive comments in four languages – English, German, French and Portuguese.

It has also introduced anonymous reporting for live video which allows users to send an anonymous message to Instagram support if they see a video of someone who seems to be struggling.

“The person will [then] see a message offering help with options to talk to a helpline, reach out to a friend or get other tips and support,” Steve explains. “We have teams working 24 hours a day, seven days a week, around the world to respond.”

“We feel as strongly about creating a safe and welcoming environment today. This update is just the next step in our mission to deliver on that promise.”

Say no to bullies

Bullying continues to plague our community. According to the Australian Covert Bullying Prevalence study, one in four students aged between eight and 14 are regularly bullied. And too many, like Dolly Everett, are taking their own lives because of bullies.

This is a problem that needs to end. But it will take an entire community to accomplish it. There needs to be communication, awareness, support and punishment, not only at home, but at school and online. Hopefully this new Instagram bully filter will reduce the instances of cyber bullying and stop teens from turning to suicide to escape this torment.

For more information about online bullying, see:

For previous articles on bullying, see:

Author

Born and raised in Canada, Jenna now lives in Far North Queensland with her tribe. When the mum-of-three is not writing, you can find her floating in the pool, watching princess movies, frolicking on the beach, bouncing her baby to sleep or nagging her older kids to put on their pants.

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