Instagram is a popular and fun photo app that was built originally to share images. Then Instagram grew into a video and image app and drew a lot of attention.
So much attention that the app has millions of users currently. It’s only natural, then, that an account with a ton of users (like a celebrity account, for example) would also get a lot of negative comments.
Some comments are downright mean - and others just annoy Instagram’s celebrity users (something that the company does not want).
Because certain celebrities (like Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift) have gotten so many negative comments on various Instagram photos, the company has decided to put stopping those types of comments in the hands of users. Instagram announced a new feature that allows users to stop posters from leaving offensive or abusive comments.
This was all done in an effort to stop celebrities from leaving Instagram (some celebrities have already done so due to negative comments). So now certain beta testers (yes, mostly celebrities and accounts with big followings) can add a list of comments and words that they would like to block from their accounts. Instagram has stated that this kind of control does not fix the problem but it will help prevent some users from boycotting Instagram completely.
Fixing Negative Comments
When a user submits a list of words that they’d like to prevent from showing up in the comment section of a post, if a comment includes any of those negative words the comment simply won’t appear. It might be impossible for a user to include or think of every word that someone might use in a negative post response, though.
Not the First
Social networks are a free for all - for all. Anyone can post any image or content or response to content on any social network. This problem has surfaced many times with Facebook and Twitter and now it’s Instagram’s turn. Instagram has not had any luck blocking abusive users and it’s not likely to be a problem that’s quickly fixed any time soon. But, Instagram can provide users with some way to filter bad comments, at least.
Better Than Editing
Facebook (the company that owns Instagram now) has been highly criticised in the past for censoring newsfeeds and content. So instead of trying to censor comments from the company end of things, this time around Facebook (Instagram) is putting censorship in users hands. While users can’t stop a post from happening, they can block negative or mean comments on their own posts. It’s not perfect but it’s a start.
As the new Instagram filtering feature gets tested among the A-list crowd, the filter will likely trickle down to other Instagram users soon enough. So sit tight while the feature is tested and you will eventually get a chance to test it out yourself. For now, the comment censorship is a step in the right direction, but one also has to wonder why a celebrity would use social media if negative comments aren’t highly tolerated.