Keeping Instagram a Safe Place for Self-Expression


Kevin Systrom

June 29, 2017

Today, we’re introducing two new tools to help keep Instagram a safe place for self-expression – a filter to block certain offensive comments and a spam filter in nine languages. These tools are the next step in our commitment to foster kind, inclusive communities on Instagram.

Blocking offensive comments

Many of you have told us that toxic comments discourage you from enjoying Instagram and expressing yourself freely. To help, we’ve developed a filter that will block certain offensive comments on posts and in live video. All other comments will appear as they normally do and you can still report comments, delete comments or turn them off. Also, you can always turn this filter off. To access it, click the “…” settings menu from the profile and scroll to tap “Comments.”

We’ll launch this comment filter in English first, but will offer it in more languages over time.

Reducing spam in comments

The spam filter looks for any obvious spam in comments, blocking it from your posts and live videos. The filter will remove spam written in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, French, German, Russian, Japanese and Chinese.

Powered by machine learning, today’s filters are our latest tools to keep Instagram a safe place. Our team has been training our systems for some time to recognize certain types of offensive and spammy comments so you never have to see them. The tools will improve over time, enabling the community’s experience of sharing to improve as well. We hope to make these filters available in more languages as our algorithms improve.

We believe that using machine learning to build tools to safeguard self-expression is an important step in fostering more inclusive, kinder communities. Our work is far from finished and perfect, but I hope we’re helping you feel safer and more welcome on Instagram.

Kevin Systrom,

CEO & Co-Founder, Instagram