Instagram is reportedly launching new tools in an attempt to weed out trolls, according to the New York Times. On Tuesday the social media app announced plans to allow users to turn off comments on their posts and remove certain accounts from their followers list.
In addition, the app is trying to create a welcoming atmosphere by letting people like individual comments — much like its parent company Facebook already does for its users’ posts. In a new post on the company’s official blog, Instagram co-founder and CEO Kevin Systrom said the goal of the updates was to create a better atmosphere for users. “In the coming weeks, we’re also adding the ability to like comments by tapping a heart icon next to any comment. Liking lets you show support and encourages positivity throughout the community,” he wrote. “These updates still mark the beginning. We will continue to work to maintain Instagram as a welcoming and safe place for everyone.”
Like any social media outlet, Instagram isn’t immune to online harassment by trolls. In September, the app rolled out tools that would allow its users to filter out abusive words in order to clamp down on offensive posts, comments and messages. Of course people could circumvent this problem with turning their profiles private, but if they approved the users, they could only go as far as blocking them to stop them from following them. Now a private profile will remove a user with an official Instagram notification indicating they have been removed as a follower.
It’s a major step forward in the battle against harassment, as Instagram and other companies have enacted new policies to help deal with the issue across the board.