Instagram's new anti-bullying measures will give users much more control over their accounts

From highlighting positive comments to bulk-deleting negative ones, Instagram has a number of updates planned

Instagram is making changes to the platform in a bid to stamp out online bullying. Unsplash
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Instagram has announced a number of new measures in its ongoing efforts to stamp out online bullying.

The new features, announced as part of its Community Standards Enforcement report, will allow users to have more control over their own accounts, and monitor who can comment on their content.

Here are some of the steps the platform is taking …

Managing unwanted interactions

One of Instagram's new measures allows users to delete unwanted comments in bulk. Instagram

The first new feature has been designed to help people deal with several unwanted interactions at once. “We know it can feel overwhelming to manage a rush of negative comments, so we’ve been testing the ability to delete comments in bulk, as well as block or restrict multiple accounts that post negative comments,” Instagram said in a blog post explaining the new measures.

The social media platform has been testing the function, and it says early feedback has been encouraging, especially from accounts with larger followings. Users are able to click into the "manage comments" section and it will then bring up a tick box beside each comment, allowing them to select several comments at once and delete in bulk.

Highlighting positive comments

The updates will allow Instagram users to select and pin positive comments to appear at the top of a post's comment thread. Instagram

In a bid to spread more positivity on Instagram, the platform has announced that it will soon begin testing a new function that will allow users to pin a select number of comments to the top of the thread below a post, much in the same way that you are able to pin certain comments to the top of your Twitter feed or certain Facebook pages.

With Instagram’s update, users will be able to pin several comments, allowing them to highlight positivity among their followers. Currently, comments are shown chronologically, with those from other people you follow usually highlighted to you.

“This feature gives people a way to set the tone for their account and engage with their community,” Instagram said.

Choosing who can tag and mention you

Users will also be given greater control over who can tag and mention them in posts and comments. Instagram

The final update will give users control over who can tag and mention them in comments. This feature is already widely used on Facebook, and allows people to have much more control over unwanted images shared, or any negative comments directed at them.

Under the new controls, users will be able to select whether they allow everyone to tag them, only people they follow, or no one.

Speaking about the new measure, Instagram said: “We’ve seen that tags and mentions can be used to target or bully others.”

The updates are the latest in a string of measures put in place by Instagram to stop online bullying. Last year, it announced it would trial hiding the "like" count on pictures in a number of countries, including Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Instagram said it had introduced the move in a bid to remove the pressure associated with a visible like count. The company is yet to reveal whether this update will be rolled out universally, but it has been well received by many users online.

Instagram has also made changes to the way people can comment on posts. At the beginning of 2019, a warning prompt was introduced for any comment it deemed might be offensive or used to incite hate, with a pop-up asking the commenter if they were sure they wanted to post it.