Instagram started to automatically block offensive comments using artificial intelligence to go beyond simple keyword filters. The use of this technology is also a test case for Facebook as it is looking to improve its own moderation and filtering.
The filter is powered by machine learning, which means that the technology used to filter comments has been trained with a test set of data, and is looking at not just keywords but also contexts and relationships. So user can decide whether the filter is to be used in their account or not.
Instagram CEO and co-founder Kevin Systrom wrote in a blog post that the official launch of a new comment filter arose as a response to the user feedback that “toxic comments discouraged [users] from enjoying Instagram” and their freedom of self-expression. The new comment filters work by blocking certain offensive comments on posts and in live videos. However, the A.I. does not focus on finding keywords but also considers context when determining whether to block a comment or not.