Cyberbullying put on the spot again

cyberbullying in itself is hardly news

From news outlets and mainstream media to our mums and nans, we have all been warned of the dangers of cyberbullying for years.

However, we haven’t seen an effective solution to tackling hate online in recent years. So, when Instagram came out with a new platform update a few days back aiming to deter the problem, we had to take notice.

Following this news, Twitter has also released a statement, looking to ban hate speech targeted towards religious groups once and for all.

Two of the most popular social media platforms working to tackle the issue at the same time? This is starting to look like a new, very welcome trend.

what is going to change?

This is not Instagram’s first attempt at using A.I. to combat harmful content on the platform. However, this new ‘warning’ feature aims to detect and stop negativity before it even gets posted. 


The social network’s CEO, Adam Mosseri, commented on the importance of tackling online bullying, especially among teens.

“This intervention gives people a chance to reflect and undo their comment and prevents the recipient from receiving the harmful comment notification”. 

During several test runs, Instagram has found that the warning encourages some people to undo their comment once they have had a chance to reflect.

Twitter’s approach looks way more radical, making a powerful statement when specifically addressing hate towards religious groups.

The platform already deletes hateful tweets based on gender, ethnicity, religious affiliation and more. Still, the new update sets more precise standards of conduct as the company will be required to remove any tweet “dehumanizing whole religious groups”.

is this good enough?

The civil rights group Color of Change, stated that while the new update is a step in the right direction, it might not be enough to curb online harassment.

We also have to consider that some tweets use euphemisms for religious groups, rather than addressing them directly.

It’s not clear whether tweets that don’t explicitly name a specific group will be deleted.

In the case of Instagram, it may still be too early to tell how effective it’s going to be.

With such an important topic at hand, we’ll definitely keep our eyes peeled for more updates!

You can read the two full stories here and here.


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