As integral as social media has become to our daily lives, it can prove itself a scary place on occasion with trolls regularly spewing out some of the most monstrous vitriol humanity has to offer. Various social media platforms have been slow to address the problem but Instagram is finally rolling out a feature to help users combat the harassment and offensive language that can end up overwhelming their accounts.
First reported on by The Washington Post, Instagram will soon let users filter out offensive words and phrases from comment streams. Users can choose their own filter words so the decision of what language is off-limits is totally up to them. They’ll also be able to turn comments off altogether on a post-by-post basis. It’s a pretty powerful change that’ll let users manage the discussions taking place on their own comment section.
“Our goal is to make Instagram a friendly, fun and, most importantly, safe place for self expression,” said Instagram’s head of public policy, Nicky Jackson Colaco, in a statement to The Post. “We have slowly begun to offer accounts with high volume comment threads the option to moderate their comment experience. As we learn, we look forward to improving the comment experience for our broader community.”
And by “high volume comment threads”, Colaco means to say celebrities. The rest of us masses should see the feature roll out in the next few months.
Model Chrissy Teigen is one early adopter who expressed her happiness with the new feature. She posted a snapshot of the interface to her Twitter account with the line “thank you, @instagram.”
— christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) August 2, 2016
TV personality Kylie Jenner took it even further and completely disabled comments on her Instagram posts. She explained the move was to stop all the self-promotion going on in the comments.
So I’m trying out disabling my comments on Instagram because I’m done w people self promoting & the “LB”s 😊
— Kylie Jenner (@KylieJenner) August 2, 2016
It’s also rumored Taylor Swift may have been the very first celebrity to make use of the new feature. During her epic standoff with Kanye West and Kim Kardashian, Kimye fans bombarded her Instagram feed with snake emojis that have since mysteriously disappeared. But we’ll never know for sure about that one as Instagram declined to comment on that one.