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Instagram Algorithm Warns Users About Potentially Offensive Posts

Credit: Instagram

That’s one way to keep your foot out of your mouth.

One of the primary differences in conversing with people over social media versus being in person is that you can’t gauge someone’s reaction to something as you’re saying it. If you’re in person, you can pick up on nonverbal signals if you’re saying something really stupid and/or offensive to them and quickly slam the breaks. If you say something like that online, you won’t know you’ve committed a faux pas until everyone is already yelling at you. In an effort to curb this, Instagram has introduced a new AI tool to offer a friendly warning.

Instagram’s new algorithm keeps a database of posts that have been reported for hurtful, offensive language. If you type up a caption and the tool detects similarities to its offensive-bank, it’ll let you know before you post it. It will then give you the options to edit the post, learn more, or post it as is. It won’t censor you or anything, it’s merely there to offer a gentle dissuasion from language that may land you in hot water. Instagram is hoping that this tool can help to curve bullying on the platform, intentional or otherwise, saying that the “intervention gives people a chance to reflect and undo their comment and prevents the recipient from receiving the harmful comment notification.” So far, early runs with the new system have produced good results, as people seem to like having an extra moment to consider whether they’re saying the right thing.