Instagram’s fight against cyberbullying

Cyberbullying involves the use of communication technologies such as the Internet, social networking sites, websites, email, text messaging and instant messaging to repeatedly intimidate or harass others.

With the rise in popularity of social media, we can all agree that there are significant pros and some disappointing cons with these platforms. A great pro with social media is the ability for the general public to voice their opinion, praise and engage in (at times) healthy debates regarding a wide array of topics. Unfortunately, with this positive aspect leads to an awful negative of cyberbullying. This act of “picking on” someone online.

The statistics regarding cyberbullying and young people are shocking:

“Fifty-nine percent of US teens have been bullied or harassed online, according to a 2018 study from Pew. 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.”

I was thoroughly impressed with Instagram chief Adam Mosseri, for taking this issue seriously and adapting the Instagram platform accordingly to help eliminate/reduce this cowardly act to fellow followers. According to a recent article Instagram will be testing a feature to “restrict” comments from other users.

“You can restrict someone by swiping left on a comment, through the Privacy tab in Settings, or directly on the profile of the account you intend to restrict. Once Restrict is enabled, comments on your posts from a person you have restricted will only be visible to that person. You can choose to view their comment by tapping “See Comment;” approve the comment so everyone can see it; delete it; or ignore it. You won’t receive any notifications for comments from a restricted account.”

Unfortunately, in the world of social media there will always be bullying online and it is unfortunate that some (especially young people) will continue to get harassed through different platforms. But my hope is that with this new feature on Instagram, other social media platforms will follow suit and establish their own anti-bullying policies. Social media should be a safe place for anyone to voice their opinions and gain knowledge without the worry of negative comments.

Do you think other social media platforms will follow Instagram’s lead with cyber-bullying?