Comment Warning feature


While most of us would have seen the number of likes disappear from our Instagram feed in the last couple of weeks,  Instagram also dropped a new ‘Comment Warning’ feature using AI designed to detect offensive comments being typed by users.

After the AI recognises the offensive or ‘borderline’ content, a warning will pop up prompting the user to reconsider their comment BEFORE they can post it.  The AI uses comments reported to the platform by other users to create alerts for comments that are similar to those that breach their community standards.

Instagram is on a mission to reduce the amount of bullying and hate on its platform. They found that early tests of the comment warning feature encouraged ‘some’ people to reflect on their choice of words and to then comment something less hurtful.

Obviously ‘some’ isn’t everybody, but it’s a start.

The head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, who took on his role last September said he wanted his reign to be a new era of anti-bullying and that he wanted to lead the fight in the social media industry.

While this is a step in the right direction there is some concern.

Instagram is attempting to use artificial intelligence to spot complex human behaviour, such as FOMO, and trying to mediate people’s feelings of exclusion and low self-worth.

The problem is, for many people, Instagram is a perfectly curated version of reality where everybody puts their best foot forward. It is a platform where bragging and making others feel jealous is the norm and that is arguably what is doing the most harm.