Instagram now filters out bullying comments

Instagram this morning pushed an update that it says filters out bullying comments.

Instagram 44.0 for iOS now filters out bullying comments intended to harass or upset people in the Instagram community. “Our Community Guidelines have always prohibited bullying on our platform and this is the next step in our ongoing commitment to keeping Instagram an inclusive, supportive place for all voices,” says the company.

Comments that may be inappropriate, offensive or bullying are automatically filtered out from your posts and live videos.

This is what the new bullying filter hides:

  • Comments containing attacks on a person’s appearance or character
  • Threats to a person’s well-being or health

This feature is on by default.

The new filter will also alert the company to repeated problems so they can take swift action. You can turn this feature off at will in your account settings: go to your profile in the app and tap the cog icon, then choose Comment Controls.

Simply toggle the switch labeled Hide Offensive Comments to turn the filter on or off.

When you turn on comment filtering, it’s applied to both new and existing comments on your posts. When you turn off comment filtering, filtered comments on your posts will be restored.

Kevin Systrom, Instagram’s co-founder and outgoing CEO:

We are also expanding our policies to guard against bullying young public figures on our platform. Protecting our youngest community members is crucial to helping them feel comfortable to express who they are and what they care about.

We also believe in promoting kindness—encouraging our community to support one another both on and off Instagram. On Saturday we will host a Kindness Prom to celebrate people in our community who are spreading positivity. These young leaders are inspiring their peers by helping kindness, acceptance and support grow on Instagram and in the world.

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. This update is just the next step in our mission to deliver on that promise.

Last year, Instagram picked up offensive comment filter that automatically hides toxic and divisive comments, particularly those aimed at risk groups.

Instagram is a free download from App Store.