Instagram strengthens policies to prevent cyberbullying

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Instagram strengthens policies to prevent cyberbullying

Instagram’s new "restricted accounts“ service. [SCREEN CAPTURE]

Instagram’s new "restricted accounts“ service. [SCREEN CAPTURE]

Instagram has launched a battle against cyberbullying.
 
The social media platform announced strengthened policies and services to prevent cyberbullying among its users in an online press conference held Tuesday.
 
Under the new guidelines, all Instagram users who experience or witness cyberbullying on the platform can report the case. A review team will monitor reports at all hours and delete reported posts if necessary.
 
Instagram has also been working with Facebook to enhance and expand the artificial intelligence (AI) technology used in its cyberbullying monitoring system. Instagram's AI technology automatically flags inappropriate posts and reports to the company's review team. 
 
“Cyberbullying exists in various forms including malicious comments, threats and intentional bullying,” said Philip Chua, head of Instagram Asia-Pacific's Public Policy team, during the conference. “We’ve been educating our AI technology so that it can monitor those cyberbullying cases.”
 
The platform also came up with a set of new guidelines to protect its users.
 
Users can now decide who can make comments on their posts. They can also control who can tag them in photos or videos.
 
Under the new “restricted accounts” option, users are able to protect themselves from unwanted interactions without having to block or unfollow people. In that case, restricted people won't know whether the users are online or whether the users read their messages or not.
 
Any posts or videos showing self-harming can also no longer be posted or viewed on Instagram.
 
The social media firm also said it plans to introduce a new service that automatically warns users about cyberbullying in advance when they are about to make a malicious comment. The service, which will be introduced by the end of September, is aimed at encouraging users not to make negative comments.
 
When Chua was asked about plans to shut down the comment section just like Naver and Daum have done on some news services, he emphasized that not allowing users to make any comments won’t solve the problem.
 
“Instagram is a space where people can communicate and share their thoughts freely,” Chua said. “We will try harder to protect users from cyberbullying by using the AI technology and the firm’s review monitoring system.”  
 
BY CHEA SARAH   [chea.sarah@joongang.co.kr]

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