All About You

Instagram's newest feature is helping to banish bullies from the internet

Raise your hand if you use Instagram every. single. day.



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We're obsessed with using the photo sharing app to post pics of food, LOL at funny #TBT childhood pics and keep up with our besties and fave celebs. And we love it even more when we see girls building each other up in the comments of each others' posts. 

"Yassss girl, love your hair."

"OMG, you have an amazing smile!"

"You are the best <3"

Not so nice, though, is when we witness people using Instagram as a vehicle to bully others. And neither does Instagram — which is why the social media platform just introduced a new feature that will allow users to filter bullying comments. 

"Last year we announced our offensive comment filter, which automatically hides toxic and divisive comments, particularly those aimed at at-risk groups," Instagram founder Kevin Systrom said in a statement yesterday. "This new filter hides comments containing attacks on a person’s appearance or character, as well as threats to a person’s well-being or health."

What this means for you: If you are being verbally abused via Instagram, this will filter out the comment so that you don't even have to see it. The only person who will see it is the person who posted it. Essentially, this update is designed to prevent keep you safe, healthy and happy. 

In his statement, Systrom also shouted out a super special Instagram user: you. Yes, that's right. With this update, Instagram is particularly invested in helping its youngest users avoid toxic comments so that it doesn't trigger feelings of loneliness and stress, making them less likely to share. And instead, they can put that energy into expressing themselves and speaking out about the things they care about.

So if you heart showing your participation in rallies and protests on your account but your followers just don't get it, or if some relentless mean girl won't stop dropping rude comments on your cute selfies, you can now post without fear of being harassed. 

Sweet, right?

Also sweet: Instagram is hosting Kindness Prom this Saturday to celebrate people in the community who are spreading positivity. Everything at the event will be devoted to community, giving back and promoting kindness.

And guess what? GL will there to keep you updated on everything! We'll be hosting a takeover with our prom date, Lily Chee (@lilychee), on our Instagram Story live from Prom. Lily — along with other young leaders attending the event — were chosen for their knack for inspiring their peers through kindness, acceptance and positivity. You can keep up with all the special #content on Saturday by following along with #kindcomments.

The bottom line: Social media should be a space where you feel safe. So if you're being bullied by someone on Instagram (or elsewhere), use the tools that are in place for you to get yourself out of the situation — whether that's utilizing Insta's new filter or telling an adult you trust. 

How will you spread kindness today? What do you think of Instagram's new feature? Let us know in the comments!


by Cassie Doyle-Hines | 5/2/2018