InstagramA new update coming to Instagram will allow users to turn the comments section under each of their posts off completely, continuing the app's anti-harrassment toolset it began introducing with a keyword moderation update in September.

Users will simply have to tap "Advanced Settings" when crafting a post and select "Turn Off Commenting," so no followers or strangers can write a comment underneath it.

Comments can be turned back on later, however, in the ellipsis menu found below a post. In the previous update, users gained the ability to filter comments out that contained specific keywords chosen to be harmful or negative by each Instagram member. Instagram said that the new comments section removal option, along with keyword filtering, are important steps in "giving you more control over your comments experience."

Liking comments is also coming soon, so users will be able to tap a heart icon next to anyone's comment to "show support" and positivity on a post. Private accounts are gaining a new feature as well, with the ability to remove followers on a case-by-case basis, without needing to completely block them. Instagram is even introducing a new system that lets users report cases of potential self-harm to the company, where a team reviews the reports and connects the individual in question to helpful organizations.

Finally, we want to continue to be a place where people can share deeply personal moments. From time to time, you may see friends struggling and in need of support. If you believe that someone you care about may be thinking about injuring themselves, you can report it anonymously, and we will connect your friend to organizations that offer help. We have teams working 24 hours a day, seven days a week, around the world to review these reports.

The company didn't make it clear when the updates would begin hitting its iOS and Android apps, but said a few of the features -- including comment liking -- will begin rolling out "in the coming weeks." Instagram is available on the iOS App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Top Rated Comments

enkadrummer88 Avatar
76 months ago
But regardless, I still cannot help but think to myself--if you want to completely shield yourself from abuse, just stay off the internet.
So if I'm someone who is constantly a target of online bullies/harassers, I shouldn't be using the internet? That's dumb. I see absolutely nothing wrong with Instagram giving users the option for this. I think it make much MORE sense for corporate Instagram/YouTube/social media accounts because the comments section on those posts are like a free-for-all for *******s. I'm sure the idea for this is probably mostly targeted at companies with Instagram accounts, but I think it's still nice to have the option for individual users.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
v0lume4 Avatar
76 months ago
I get where IG is coming from. I really do. YouTube lets content creators disable comments on videos of their choice (Apple does it for all of their videos, strangely). But regardless, I still cannot help but think to myself--if you want to completely shield yourself from abuse, just stay off the internet. The internet's a nasty place full of keyboard warriors that will say nasty things because they can hide behind their computer screen. It isn't Instagram or YouTube or anyone else's job to shield us from each other.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
OldSchoolMacGuy Avatar
76 months ago
I get where IG is coming from. I really do. YouTube lets content creators disable comments on videos of their choice (Apple does it for all of their videos, strangely). But regardless, I still cannot help but think to myself--if you want to completely shield yourself from abuse, just stay off the internet. The internet's a nasty place full of keyboard warriors that will say nasty things because they can hide behind their computer screen. It isn't Instagram or YouTube or anyone else's job to shield us from each other.
So those being harassed online should simply avoid it rather than still be allowed to share without fear of harassment? By your logic, kids harassed in school should simply not go to school rather than addressing the issues with those harassing them and preventing that harassment from happening. Women sexually harassed in public shouldn't go out in public.

That thinking is ridiculous. What's wrong with putting safeguards in place to enable everyone to enjoy these sites without fear of harassment? Why in the world should we accept the the internet has those which wish to harass others and not do a thing to change it? Would you have suggested we just leave slavery as the thing because that's simply the way it is, rather than looking to change the world for the better?
Hmm I already have the feature. Slow release?
All Facebook and Instagram features are pushed out rather than a product of simply downloading an updated app.

Their weekly/bi-montly app updates all have the functionality to allow new features but Facebook doesn't enable them for everyone at once. When you have a network of more than 1 billion users, you don't simply want to flip the switch and hope things work.

Instead, they roll them out slowly to certain areas of the country or user types, etc. This allows them to make sure features are working as they should before turning them on for everyone.

So yes, you may have had access to this and other features before they officially announce the rollout.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Aetles Avatar
76 months ago
Just want to chime in on this...
I've been harassed and called some things that I can't say on this forum or I'll get banned. What do I do about it? I ignore it and move on. It's the internet, you are going to have to deal with this kind of stuff unless you choose to censor it. Words should not hurt you. No safe spaces online or off.
Great if that's all there is to it. But it does not work that way in every case, words can break down people. Words can dox peoples home addresses. Words can deliver death threats. Word can spill over to real world harassment. Words can lead to swatting, identity theft and other things many of the popular targets receive.

I don't get the notion that we as a society and companies that provides services should just act like ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ and let it carry on. On the contrary, we should strive for everyone to feel welcome and not let it fall back to some law of the jungle, survival of the strongest etc.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
continuity Avatar
76 months ago
Anyone protesting this I assume is one of those trolls who love going around harassing people. Newsflash: nowhere on the internet are you entitled to share your unasked opinions with anyone. If someone doesn't care to read your hateful bile on their platform, it's their right to tune you out and block you.

Complaining that this is censorship is like claiming that being kicked out of someone's home after you behaved like a pig during dinner is censorship. The government cannot impede your right to speak your mind, but everyone else can and it's not in the least bit illegal. In fact trying to pull the free speech card doesn't really work here since harassment isn't really protected by free speech, just like death threats and libel aren't. Go do something more useful with your life than protesting your right to be an ******.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bradkrischel Avatar
76 months ago
I wish they would let me completely turn off the "stories" at the top of my feed
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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