October is National Cyberbullying Awareness Month and Meta is highlighting new tools and resources it is rolling out to help create a better and more positive online environment.
The new tools are available for all Instagram users but are the default for all “Creator” accounts, which tend to have more followers and engagement, both positive and negative.
The new tools available to users across Instagram include:
—Kindness Reminder: When interacting with Instagram creators, users will receive nudges to encourage taking a moment to pause and reflect before submitting a comment or message. Meta says the feature encourages more respectful outreach.
—Improving Ability to Block: Now, when users or Creators block someone, they will have the option to block other accounts connected to the offending account, making it more difficult for them to continue interacting with the user.
—See No Harm: The “Hidden Words” tool allows users to automatically hide messages or comments that contain words they have banned. Instagram is testing automatically turning on Hidden Words for people who use a Creator account. Meta has also made improvements to Hidden Words that protect people from seeing scam messages or offensive replies to Stories. The filter has been improved to catch intentional misspellings of offensive terms.
Meta says it will continue to roll out tools and resources that help combat cyberbullying and foster a respectful online community. More information on their anti-cyberbullying efforts is available online.
National Cyberbullying Awareness Month aims to raise awareness of cyberbullying and cyberbullying prevention. According to the 2019 Indicators of School Crime and Safety report, about 20% of students ages 12-18 reported being bullied in 2017. Among students ages 12-18 who reported being bullied during the school year, 15% were bullied online or by text.