As anyone who has spent ten seconds on the internet knows, comment sections on any social media platforms can easily turn into a cesspool.

Instagram is taking steps to prevent this. But instead of removing the comment section (like many news websites have done in the past) Instagram has rolled out a new functionality that will allow users to set up a custom keyword filter for chatter under their pictures.

Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom explained in a blog post that it wants to keep the photo sharing and editing app positive and safe – just as it intended from the start, for people from all walks of life.

“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,” Systrom said.

He said keyword moderation will be put in place as part of the drive to make the service as enjoyable for possible for everyone. What that will do is allow you the functionality to block comments that contain certain words which you deem offensive or inappropriate.

The new tool is accessed by tapping the gear icon, where you will see the new Comments tool. If you don’t see it, just update your app through the appropriate store.

Instagram

“Comments with these words will be hidden from your posts. You can choose your own list of words or use default words we’ve provided. This is in addition to the tools we’ve already developed such as swiping to delete comments, reporting inappropriate comments and blocking accounts,” he said.

It might only be a small gesture into making the comment sections a bit more bearable, and Systrom is aware that more possibly needs to be done in the future.

“We know tools aren’t the only solution for this complex problem, but together, we can work towards keeping Instagram a safe place for self-expression. My commitment to you is that we will keep building features that safeguard the community and maintain what makes Instagram a positive and creative place for everyone,” he concluded.

[Image – CC by 2.0/Pixabay]
Charlie started his professional life as a motoring journalist for a community newspaper in Mpumalanga, Charlie explored different journalistic angles since his entry into the fast-paced world of publishing in 2006. While fostering a passion for the arts, Charlie developed a love for technology – both which allowed him to serve as Entertainment and Technology Editor for an online publication. Charlie has since been heavily involved in consumer technology for various websites and publications. He thoroughly enjoys World War II films and cerebral documentaries; aviation; photography and indie music. Oh yes, and he also has a rather strange obsession with collecting coffee mugs from his travels.