Instagram Launches A New Anti-Bullying Measures, Including Bulk Comment Actions and Mention Controls

Instagram has announced some new tools to give users more control over their on-platform experience and reduce the impact of trolls and abusive actions within the app.

First off, Instagram’s rolling out a new bulk comment removal process, which will make it easier to manage your post comment streams.

As explained by Instagram:

“We know it can feel overwhelming to manage a rush of negative comments, so we’ve been testing the ability to delete comments in bulk, as well as block or restrict multiple accounts that post negative comments. Early feedback has been encouraging, and we’ve found that it helps people, especially with larger followings, maintain a positive environment on their account.”

The option was spotted in testing back in March, and as Instagram notes, they’ve seen positive results from those initial tests, leading to a broader roll-out.

To delete multiple comments/bulk block accounts:

  • Tap on a comment and then the dotted icon in the top right corner
  • Select ‘Manage Comments’ and choose up to 25 comments to delete at once
  • Tap ‘More Options’ to block or restrict accounts in bulk

But it’s not all about the negatives – there may also be positive comments that you want to highlight, in order to amplify the good. On this front, Instagram’s also testing out a new option that will enable users to pin comments within their post reply streams.

As per Instagram:

“This feature gives people a way to set the tone for their account and engage with their community by pinning a select number of comments to the top of their comments thread.”

As noted, that could encourage more positive interactions, while also drowning out the negatives. Instagram hasn’t provided specific detail on how many comments you can pin on each post, but it’s currently being tested with some users.

And finally, Instagram’s also adding new controls over who can tag and @mention your account, in order to reduce misuse of this feature for bullying.

As you can see here, users will now be able to choose whether they want everyone to be able to tag them, only the people they follow, or no one at all. Users can also choose the ‘Manually Approve Tags’ option to maintain more specific control over the process.

The updates come on the back of the release of Facebook’s latest Transparency Report, which covers all the content actions that it’s undertaken across Facebook and Instagram over the past three months.

Among the various updates, Facebook notes that it’s made improvements to its text and image matching capacity on Instagram, enabling it to detect more suicide and self-injury content, which has subsequently increased the amount of content that it’s taken action on by 40%. It’s also continued to make improvements to its hate speech detection and removal processes.

In terms of bullying and harassment violations on Instagram, Facebook says that it took action on 1.5 million pieces of content in Q1 2020, which is around the same amount it took action on in the previous quarter. So while its systems are improving on offensive content overall, there’s still a lot of bullying present on the platform, and it remains a key area of concern.

As is evident with these updates, Instagram is working to address this. Over the past year, Instagram has also added warnings on potentially offensive captions and comments and new tools to restrict how others interact with your posts, while it’s also still testing hiding like counts as a measure to reduce social anxiety.

Since former Facebook News Feed chief Adam Mosseri stepped into the role as the chief of Instagram, user well-being has been a key focus, and these new options further add to this and provide more ways for users to control their on-platform experience.