In an era where trolls run as rampant as Pidgeys do on the "Pokemon Go" app, it's always a relief to hear about new additions to social media like Instagram's new keyword comment moderation tool. Instagram CEO and Co-founder Kevin Systrom announced the launch of the new tool in an Instagram blog post today, outlining the measures Instagram is taking to allow users to block comments with certain words in them — either words from a default list provided by Instagram, or any words the user chooses themselves. Now that Instagram has reached an audience of 500 million users, these safety measures to avoid harassment and triggering words are more important than ever.
So how exactly can you take advantage of the tool? Instagram has made it incredibly straightforward. Now when you tap the gear icon on your account, there will be a "Comments" button. (If you're not seeing it yet, make sure you've downloaded the latest version of Instagram by going to your App Store for updates.) Once you click on it, you'll see "Hide Inappropriate Comments" with a toggle under it, which allows the user to block default offensive words determined by Instagram. Below it users can also add "Custom Keywords," separated by commas.
"The beauty of the Instagram community is the diversity of its members. All different types of people — from diverse backgrounds, races, genders, sexual orientations, abilities and more — call Instagram home, but sometimes the comments on their posts can be unkind," wrote Systrom on Instagram's blog. "To empower each individual, we need to promote a culture where everyone feels safe to be themselves without criticism or harassment. It’s not only my personal wish to do this, I believe it’s also our responsibility as a company. So, today, we’re taking the next step to ensure Instagram remains a positive place to express yourself."
Other Instagram security measures include the ability to block users and switch your account to private, but for public personas and people who would rather not go private, this is a preemptive block of sorts. Rather than having to see the offensive content and then go block the user, the content will never reach them and the unpleasantness is entirely avoided. One small step for humans, one giant shove back into the abyss for troll-kind.
Images: Unsplash; Emma Lord/Bustle