PhotoOne of the great things about the internet is that it caters to all kinds of people, but unfortunately that also means that it’s open to people who won’t bat an eye when it comes to spewing hateful or vitriolic rhetoric.

However, users of the popular photo-sharing site Instagram should be seeing less of these offensive comments going forward. In a blog post, Instagram CEO and co-founder Kevin Systrom said that the company is rolling out two new tools on the site to filter out offensive and spam comments.

“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,” he said.  “These tools are the next step in our commitment to foster kind, inclusive communities on Instagram.”

Filtering out offensive and spam comments

Systrom says that the comment filter is intended to stop toxic messages that prevent Instagram users from freely expressing themselves on the site. It is designed for both posts and live videos, but users are reminded that they can still report, delete, or turn off comments if they so choose.

The filter can also be turned off completely by clicking on the settings menu from a user’s profile and tapping the “Comments” section. The tool will launch first in English but will be adopted for other languages over time.

The other tool that Instagram is rolling out – the spam filter – is designed to automatically remove spam comments posted on photos and live videos. Systrom says the tool is available in English, Spanish, Portugese, Arabic, Frech, 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 CEO said.

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