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Instagram Turns to AI to Stop Cyberbullying on Its Platform

The artificial intelligence tool works by identifying words and phrases that have been reported as offensive in the past. It then allows the author to rework their comment before posting it.

by David Matthews, New York Daily News / December 17, 2019
Shutterstock.com

(TNS) — Photo-sharing social media app Instagram has a new feature that uses artificial intelligence against cyberbullying and offensive comments.

The new feature began rolling out to the app’s billions of users on Monday.

The AI operates from a list of words and phrases that have been reported as offensive in the past.

If the AI detects offensive language on a comment, it will send a prompt to the writer and give them a chance to edit or delete their comment before it is posted.

The app hopes to encourage users “to pause and reconsider their words before posting."

In order to create the new system, Instagram partnered with suicide prevention programs.

Best-selling author and Smith College educator Rachel Simmons told “Good Morning America” that it was a great first step.

“We want to see social media platforms like Instagram stopping bullies before they start," she said.

The new tool is the latest arrow in Instagram’s anti-bullying quiver. In October, the app launched Restrict, a feature that allows users to easily shadow-ban other users who may post bullying or offensive comments.

©2019 New York Daily News Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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