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Instagram uses ‘AI intervention’ to help counter bullying

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Media sharing platform Instagram is launching an ‘AI intervention’ system designed to help counter the scourge of cyberbullying.

With 95 million photos and videos uploaded to Instagram every day, manual content moderation is impossible. Inappropriate content must be reported for moderation today, and the psychological damage it can do to human moderators is well-documented.

AI has long been herald as a means to automate the moderation process, but today it still requires a human to make a final decision. Instagram has decided to follow the old adage of ‘prevention is better than a cure’ with its new AI system.

Instagram already uses such a system for negative comments, providing users with the opportunity to undo the message. Instagram claims in earlier tests they’ve found “it encourages some people to undo their comment and share something less hurtful once they have had a chance to reflect.”

Now, prior to any potentially harmful content being shared, the platform will intervene to ask “are you sure you want to post this?” to really make the user think about what they’re doing.

Instagram is also helping to stop bullies getting the attention they seek from their victims.

“We’ve heard from young people in our community that they’re reluctant to block, unfollow, or report their bully because it could escalate the situation, especially if they interact with their bully in real life,” says Instagram head Adam Mosseri.

Users flagged as bullies will be made invisible to the victim. Furthermore, the victim’s current online status will be made unknown to the bully.

“Restricted people won’t be able to see when you’re active on Instagram or when you’ve read their direct messages,” adds Mosseri.

A study last year found that around 59 percent of US teens have suffered from bullying and harassment online. Over half of the respondents said that social media sites, police, teachers, and others are not doing enough to counter the issue.

The new Instagram AI intervention system will begin rolling out to English speakers first before it’s made available globally.

Interested in hearing industry leaders discuss subjects like this and their use cases? Attend the co-located AI & Big Data Expo events with upcoming shows in Silicon Valley, London, and Amsterdam to learn more. Co-located with the IoT Tech Expo, Blockchain Expo, and Cyber Security & Cloud Expo.

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