Instagram Introduces New Features to Address Screen Time and Harmful Online Content

Instagram Introduces New Features to Address Screen Time and Harmful Online Content

Instagram has recently announced the inclusion of some new features to work towards addressing harmful content online as well as encouraging users to take breaks when using the social media platform. These new features have been included to take ‘stronger action’ against harmful content, such as bullying or hate speech, by managing how posts are presented to the user. As well as this, the ‘Take a Break’ feature uses notifications to prompt the user into taking a break when it is deemed they have spent too much time or ‘scrolled’ on Instagram for too long.

Harmful Content on Instagram

As part of their work to address harmful content, Instagram is now showing potentially harmful posts lower on a user’s news feed so there is potentially less exposure to the content. They have highlighted that posts containing bullying, hate speech or content that incites violence will be detected by comparing similarities to content that may have broken rules in the past.

Instagram already has a set of community guidelines where content is removed if not adhered to, but users can also report posts themselves in app if they find something harmful. As part of this new feature, Instagram is placing potentially harmful posts lower on a user’s feed if Instagram considers them likely to report it based on their previous history of reporting.

As well as this new feature, users must still utilise reporting features effectively if they experience harm online. You can find out more about reporting routes, through Report Harmful Content across a broad range of social media platforms. If you have had a response to a report that was not the outcome you were hoping for, you can also report the content to Report Harmful Content for further review.

Instagram’s ‘Take a Break’ Feature

Recently, Instagram launched the ‘Take a Break’ feature that can work towards helping users with managing screen time and setting some restrictions towards how long they use social media for. With this feature, if a user has been scrolling for a certain period of time, they will get a notification, advising them to take a break whilst prompting them to set reminders about setting time aside in the future for additional breaks. You can set this feature to notify after 10, 20 or 30 minutes.

It was found through testing research that ‘once teens set the reminders, more than 90% of them keep them on’. Instagram will also present tips to users that are said to help them ‘reflect and reset’.

Instagram Privacy and Safety

These new features build on some already established privacy and security features that Instagram incorporates, including how to block people, how to delete comments and how to report content. If you want to find out more about what features are available, you can download the Instagram Privacy and Safety checklist from our website for free or you can buy it from our online store.

Instagram Checklist

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