Instagram To Crack Down On Hate Speech, Testing ‘Limits’ Tool
Instagram head Adam Mosseri announced Thursday that Instagram is testing a feature that would allow users to temporarily “lock down” their accounts when they’re being hit with abusive comments, after multiple Black soccer players for the English national team were harassed with racist comments on the platform after their loss in the European Football Championship finals.
Mosseri said the “limits” tool will allow users to temporarily halt all interactions on their Instagram account.
Mosseri said Instagram has also extended one of its features, “hidden words,” which allows users to block keywords and comments, to direct messages.
He acknowledged that Instagram needs to do a better job of detecting hate speech, saying it mistakenly marked some reports of racist comments as “benign.”
“We’ve got more to do on both fronts — more to do to prevent racism and hate speech from being spread on the platform in the first place and more to do to build tools that allow the targets of that kind of horrible activity to defend themselves,” said Adam Mosseri on Twitter.
After England’s loss to Italy in the European Football Championship, three of the team’s Black players, Bukayo Saka, Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho, received hate and racist comments on multiple social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, which led U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Prince William to denounce the comments online. Last week, soccer player Bukayo Saka responded to the hate in a lengthy statement, saying the social media platforms weren’t “doing enough to stop these [hateful] messages.”
6.3 million. That is the number of pieces of hate speech removed from Instagram between January and March, according to Facebook. On Facebook, 25 million pieces of hate speech were removed during that same time.