Can Technology Help with Anti-Cyber Bullying Initiatives?


Instagram, part of Facebook, has recently ramped up its efforts to curb bullying behavior.

The project was highlighted in a recent New York Times article. In an effort to protect its users from harassment, Instagram’s new anti-bullying initiative uses both human reviewers and artificial intelligence (A.I.).

Instagram is attempting to understand the broad types of bullying. Its algorithms, or rules and calculations written for this purpose, will then flag suspicious postings and photos for human reviewers to decide if any of its platform rules have been broken.

Instagram users are particularly vulnerable to bullying because of their young ages. According to the Pew Research Center and a British anti-bullying organization survey, 42% of victims of cyber bullying ages 12 to 20 reported that they were bullied on Instagram, which is used by a huge 70% of American teens.

The new focus on detecting cyber-bullying comes after Instagram’s 2018 effort to use A.I. to identify bullying instances in photos. This effort combined with its renewed focus on A.I. technology led the Times article to name Instagram as more aggressive in combatting online bullying than Twitter or Snapchat.

Instagram Must Be Able To Spot Online Bullying To Help End It

The global world of social media changes every day – every minute – even every second as users constantly create new words and behavior.

Instagram created focus groups of teenagers and parents to get information about what these groups would term “unwanted behavior” on the platform. Beyond the obvious threats and insults, other behaviors were more subtle and what Instagram terms “betrayal.” Here is an example:

A photo of a teenage couple together may seem innocent, but it could taunt the young man’s former girlfriend; it may induce “fear of missing out” feelings in those who were not included; there may be subtle shaming hints aimed at those who were tagged in the photo.

At some point in the future, A.l. may be able to filter and edit bullying and other objectionable content from social media platforms. But as effective as they are, Instagram’s algorithms are not as good yet as human review in understanding context.

We Can Help If Your Child Has Experienced Cyber-Bullying

If you or a family member has experienced bullyingsexual assaultsexual harassment of any kind, or has been injured in an  accident or by any other type of personal injury, or needs help with any employment discrimination or family law issue, please contact the Essex County Law Offices of Paul S. Foreman, P.C. immediately. We have the right experience to get the optimal results for your case. Please call us for a free consultationAttorney Paul S. Foreman, personal injury attorney in Roseland, will fight to secure justice for you and your family. You can reach us at 973-315-3232 or contact us via the website.