How To Tell If You Can Filter Your Instagram Comments Yet

Instagram has announced a new feature that will allow Instagram users to filter comments. This is no doubt welcome news to users who have faced online harassment, but the specifics of the new filter are still rather fuzzy — including how you can tell if you can filter your Instagram comments yet. The photosharing platform has already begun to equip accounts with large numbers of commenters with the filter, but it will be a while before normal users get the same feature.

On Friday, The Washington Post reported that Instagram will soon let individual users moderate comment threads. In a statement to Bustle, an Instagram spokesperson said that this moderation could include features like the ability to filter specific keywords or to turn off comments altogether for specific posts. According to a statement made by Nicky Jackson Colaco, Instagram's head of public policy, to the Post, the company has “slowly begun to offer accounts with high volume comment threads the option to moderate their comment experience.” Eventually, that option will become available to all users, though The Washington Post suggests that this development could take months.

There is no word yet on just how this ability to moderate comments will be rolled out, or how most users will know when they finally have the ability to filter comments. When Instagram began offering a comment moderation feature to business accounts back at the beginning of July, owners of those pages could find the feature by going to their account, and tapping the “Option” symbol in the upper right corner. It’s possible that the new filter (which appears to allow for more complex moderation than the one created for businesses) will work in a similar way, but we won’t know for sure until Instagram releases the filter to a wider audience.

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Although it may be a while before the bulk of Instagram’s 500 million users are able to filter their Instagram comments, the company’s announcement that a filter is on its way is in itself a sign that Instagram is taking online abuse and harassment seriously. “Our goal is to make Instagram a friendly, fun and, most importantly, safe place for self expression,” Jackson Colaco told The Post. In statement to Bustle, Instagram emphasized that this new feature is not intended to censor commenters, but rather to promote a safe environment for all Instagram users.

Images: Toni Hukkanen/Unsplash; Giphy