The popular social media platform, Instagram, introduces a caption warning feature as a step towards reducing cyberbullying. The social media already have options to report a post or an account if it is hurtful in any way to other users. Now, they are extending their anti-bullying tools to reduce such activities to a greater extent. This is expected to deal with unwanted hate speeches and rude comments, especially among youngsters.
In the new feature which is being introduced, the user will be encouraged to change their statement before posting them if the algorithm of the statement matches any of the potential hate statements which were published earlier. For example, if you happen to type a comment like, ‘you are an idiot’, you will be getting a notification stating “this caption looks similar to others that have been reported”. But the user will be given an option to share it anyway even if he/she did not revise the caption.
This initiative by Instagram has been welcomed around the world especially by anti-bullying campaigners. According to the words of Dan Raisbeck, the co-founder of UK Charity Cybersmile, “ we should all consider the impact of our words, especially online where comments can be easily misinterpreted”. He also added that “ tools like Instagram comments and caption warning are useful ways to encourage that behaviour before something is posted, rather than relying on reactive action to remove a hurtful comment after it’s been seen by others”.
Instagram had introduced a “Restrict” feature in October as a step towards the same issue and ‘caption warning’ is the latest measure taken by Insta this year. The ‘Restrict’ tab allows the users to stop someone from bullying them by just swiping left on a comment either through the privacy tab in settings or by going directly into that account.
Such initiatives by social media platforms can prevent lots of issues such as hate speeches, cyberbullying and harassment related to politics or any other subject faced by youngsters, women and men.