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Instagram adding overdue measures to fight online abuse

Facebook-owned Instagram has announced new ways to tackle the abuse reported by some members of the community.

After previously enabling users to disable certain words from comments, the app will soon make it possible to turn off comments completely.

The feature will soon roll out to all users after being tested on a small number of accounts.

Users will need to tap “Advanced Settings” before posting and turn off commenting, although comments can be switched back on at any time.

Related: Here’s what Instagram looks like in Windows 95

In the coming weeks, we’re also adding the ability to like comments by tapping a heart icon next to any comment. Liking lets you show support and encourages positivity throughout the community,” wrote CEO Kevin Systrom on the company blog.

Instagram is also taking the overdue step of allowing those with Private Accounts to remove followers without having to block them.

“In the past, once you approved a follower, there was no simple way to undo that decision without blocking them,” Systrom added.

“Going forward, if your account is private, you can remove followers by going to your list of followers and tapping the … menu next to any person’s name. The person will not be notified that you removed them as a follower.”

Finally, Instagram is adding anonymous reporting for posts that feature or suggest self-harm.

Systrom added: “If you believe that someone you care about may be thinking about injuring themselves, you can report it anonymously, and we will connect your friend to organizations that offer help. We have teams working 24 hours a day, seven days a week, around the world to review these reports.”

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Is Silicon Valley doing enough to combat trolling and online abuse? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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