Instagram rolls out a new feature to fight to bullying, keeping true to the words of its head Adam Mosseri, who said the social network wants to lead the fight against online bullying.
The latest feature called “Restrict” released on Wednesday will help combat bullying. The tool social media has been testing the tool since July.
The “Restrict” feature will allow users to stop displaying comments on your posts from that person are only visible to them and not to other people. The users restricted will also not be able to see if you’re active on Instagram or if they have read their direct messages.
Instagram users can also opt to make restricted person’s comments show up for others by approving their comments.
Randi Priluck, a professor and associate dean at Pace University focused on social media and mobile marketing said – “The fact that Instagram is doing something is better than nothing. But the question is: How much will this help?”
According to a 2018 study from Pew fifty-nine percent of US teens have been bullied or harassed online. Another study conducted by a non-profit anti-bullying group found that 42% of cyberbullying victims between the ages of 12 and 20 said they were bullied on Instagram.
According to Instagram blocking or unfollowing or reporting a bully can make it difficult to keep a tab on the bully’s behavior. With the restrict feature, Instagram users can protect themselves without notifying the person who is bullying them.
Dr. Sameer Hinduja, co-director of the Cyberbullying Research Center and a professor at Florida Atlantic University, said -“We need to see how it plays out at scale, and whether a critical mass of Instagrammers employs the feature.”
Earlier Instagram also rolled out a new tool that uses artificial intelligence to tell users when a comment could be considered offensive before its posted.