Instagram is using machine learning to detect bullying in photos and captions

Instagram has also launched a face filter on Stories to promote ‘kindness’ on the platform.


“There is no place for bullying on Instagram...As the new Head of Instagram, I’m proud to build on our commitment to making Instagram a kind and safe community for everyone,” Instagram’s newly appointed chief Adam Mosseri writes in his first blog addressing the users of the platform.

In these efforts, Instagram has announced a new set of anti-cyberbullying features. The platform has also announced a new machine learning algorithm that will be able to scan photo posts and captions to detect bullying. The detected posts will then be sent to Instagram’s community moderators for review.

Instagram is using machine learning to detect bullying in photos and captions

Instagram's new Kindness face filter.

This basically means the machine learning algorithm could help put the posts to rest where harassers just scrawl out threatening or defamatory notes and then post a photo of them to bypass Instagram’s text filters for bullying. Be it text or a photo, the machine learning tech is meant to filter through both. This feature will be rolled out to all Instagram users in the next few weeks.

It was back in May, that Instagram had launched the text filter for bullying. Now, the platform is extending this feature to the Live Videos as well. This is now globally available for all live videos.

In addition to that, Instagram is also introducing a new camera effect to “help spread kindness” in Stories. We tried out this feature on Instagram Stories. While the new face filter has started to show up, it doesn’t seem to be working for us. We tried to shut and reboot the app and then try out the filter as well, but it just doesn't seem to be working. Below is my disappointed face.

From left to right: How it looked for me, and how it is supposed to look.

From left to right: How it looked for me, and how it is supposed to look.

This filter has been launched in partnership with New York Times best-selling teen author, dancer and actor, Maddie Ziegler, who has been speaking out against online bullying since she started experiencing it.