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New Instagram tools designed to stop bullying

The tools include algorithms that scan photos users post and flag them if the computer thinks they might have content that qualifies as bullying.

In one of his first moves since taking the job last week, the new head of Instagram announced new features designed to prevent bullying on the popular social media platform.

Writing in a blog post Tuesday, Adam Mosseri said "While the majority of photos shared on Instagram are positive and bring people joy, occasionally a photo is shared that is unkind or unwelcome."

These changes are especially pertinent for younger users, Brandon Boatwright, a graduate student in the UT Social Media Command Center, told 10News. "Since Instagram tends to skew toward a younger audience, it’s really important to see that the platform is starting to take more progressive steps toward protecting their most vulnerable users."

The tools work by banning bullying comments on Instagram live videos, but also by scanning photos users post for content that might be bullying or hate speech.

Using machine learning, Boatwright said the app is "able to understand that this particular picture means there’s cyberbullying prevalent in this discussion and we need to be able to remove that from the conversation."

But while these changes are likely to make a positive impact, he said the fight to end bullying is not over.

"I think that Instagram has a moving target that they’re trying to hit here. I think that they has a moving target that they’re trying to hit here," he said.

He said social media companies are trying to regain users trust after many complained of negativity.

"I think social media is kind of this landscape of extremes where there is just this extreme cyberbullying in some cases so how do you combat that with extreme kindness and niceness," Boatwright said.