In an attempt to address its troll problem, Instagram has taken the bold step of introducing a new comments blocking tool for businesses that could spell the end for unwanted messages on its platform.
The popular photo-sharing app has often come under fire from its users concerning rude comments on posts. Despite regulating the use of hashtags, Instagram is sorely lacking in other areas that require similar moderation.
The new feature allows users that have the business page option turned on to access a “Moderate Comments” tool in their settings tab, reports TechCrunch. As stated in its description, once enabled, it blocks comments that contain words or phrases that have repeatedly been “reported as offensive” from appearing on your posts.
It’s a fairly straightforward feature that once again puts the impetus on users to take responsibility for what should and shouldn’t appear on their account. Business users will likely welcome any change, no matter how vague, if it lets them keep things professional on their profiles. It will also help the app continue to court businesses (which are more likely to advertise on a platform they view as safe).
As we’ve seen from the countless Twitter blunders by major corporations, social media can be a minefield for inexperienced brands. Therefore, the new feature could help ease new users into the Instagram experience until they feel more comfortable interacting with the app’s wider community.
However, Instagram still has a long way to go in fixing its abuse-reporting tools. Most Instagram users have probably resigned themselves to receiving spam comments on their posts, and others may even overlook the odd rude message.
The fact that comment threads so often descend into disorder for the app’s most-followed users is reason enough for Instagram to step up its policing efforts. Its rivals, including Twitter, and Facebook, both suffer from the same lapses, but there is hope for social networks. Just recently, the Twitter-owned live-streaming app Periscope began testing a democratic live moderation tool that lets users vote on blocking comments, and users, during broadcasts.
The jury may still be out on the relatively untested feature, but it offers the kind of innovation in regards to regulation that social media has critically lacked. Let’s hope the rest of the industry was paying heed, instead of simply searching for excuses, or living in denial, as has become the norm.