Posting Offensive Comments or Spam on Instagram? These New Filters Will Catch You

Two new machine-language-powered filters are helping 'keep Instagram a safe place'

Instagram introduced two tools Thursday aimed at keeping users safe from offensive or inappropriate comments, as well as spam-free.

The new filters follow three safety tools launched last December by the Facebook-owned photo- and video-sharing network: the ability to turn off commenting, to remove followers from private accounts and to anonymously report posts that hint at the intention of self-injury.

Co-founder and CEO Kevin Systrom introduced the machine-language-powered tools in a blog post, saying that the offensive comment filter is English-only at launch, with more languages coming, while the spam filter covers English, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, French, German, Russian, Japanese and Chinese.

Instagram said in an email to Social Pro Daily that only “a small fraction” of the hundreds of millions of comments shared every day are offensive or inappropriate, and Systrom explained how the filter works:

We’ve developed a filter that will block certain offensive comments on posts and in live video. All other comments will appear as they are, and you can still report them, delete comments or turn them off. So, you can always turn this filter off. To access it, click the “…” settings menu from the profile and scroll to tap “Comments.”

Similarly, the spam filter blocks obvious spam in comments on posts and live videos.

Systrom also described future developments:

Powered by machine learning, today’s filters are our latest tools to keep Instagram a safe place. Our team has been training our systems for some time to recognize certain types of offensive and spammy comments so you will never have to see them. The tools will improve over time, enabling the community’s experience of sharing to improve, as well. We hope to make these filters available.

We believe that it is a good idea to build a self-expression. Our work is far from finished and perfect, but I hope we will help you.