We have all experienced negativity through the internet by an insecure coward behind a screen. Bullies have found the Internet to be the perfect place to hurl their hatefulness without the repercussions of doing it face-to-face. The Internet serves as a facade for people of all different ages and backgrounds. Numerous social networking sites have received backlash for not improving the safety of their environment for users. Over the last few years, cyberbullying has become a rising issue especially with the increasing popularity of social networking sites. Younger audiences, some as young as middle school, tend to be the most affected by Internet hate, sometimes resulting in self-harm, depression, and unfortunately, suicide. According to a study conducted by Dr. Justin W. Patchin of University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire, 34% of students have experienced cyberbullying throughout their lifetime. Even various celebrities have been victims of Internet hate and have discussed being afflicted by the harsh commentary.
Finally, there’s a way to block the haters! Instagram has dealt with various cases regarding trolls and other users who like to spend their time typing negative comments under other user’s posts.. As a way to help ensure the safety and protection of Instagram users, Instagram created a series of updates where public users can dictate who control their comments. Instagram users can manually decide which people can leave comments under their posts along with which accounts to block. Users can go to their comment settings on Instagram and choose to filter offensive comments from their page. There is also an option where users can filter keywords that may be considered insulting and cruel. Along with comment protection, live video reporting has also been changed. Instead of reporting somebody after the live video, users can report them during the live video.
Hopefully, Instagram’s safety modifications will inspire other social networking sites to change their settings for comments in order to prevent the potential harm of others as well as avoid the destruction of one’s self esteem. It is important for websites, especially popular ones, to assist in the prevention of online abuse in order to ensure the protection of one’s mental health.