Instagram launches new anti-bullying technology

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- This week, Instagram started using it's new technology that they say can detect online bullying in photos.

We went to Missouri State University today to talk to students, one of social media's largest user demographics, to see what they thought.

"I think it's pretty creative from Instagram's point of view," said Freshman Darrel Harden Jr.

"I applaud them for going in that direction" added Freshman Adam Inman.

We couldn't find a single student today at MSU that did not think Instagram's new anti-bullying technology was unnecessary, or a bad idea.

But many questioned how it could work.

Inman said,"I think it's innovative, but I'm not sure how the technology will work necessarily."

Instagram's says it's new machine learning technology proactively scans and can identify online bullying in posted photos in several ways.

They say it can scan for context in images by looking at signals in an actual photo. And, if there's a caption, it looks for indicators there as well.

It's something that could make a big impact in the college setting, where students face more obstacles than many realize.

"People will tend to post videos of someone who may not have Instagram so they can't see it," Inman explained. "And, it will be embarrassing that they didn't exactly consent or want people to be watching."

Harden Jr. added, "People talking bad about each other, types of looks people have, types of genders that people are."

Instagram says their aim is to target the posts that many people can see, but don't report. They have even taken it one step further, to the positive side, offering new features like appreciation filters.

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