Instagram was down for many users on Saturday
Instagram was down for many users on Saturday

Instagram update adds ‘Kindness Stickers’ as it tries to stop people being horrible to each other

'This is an important step in ensuring that people get help wherever they are'

Aatif Sulleyman
Tuesday 26 September 2017 13:46

Instagram has introduced a number of new features designed to help users feel safe online.

The social network was recently said to have the most detrimental effect on young people’s mental health in a report from the Royal Society for Public Health and the charity Young Health Movement.

In an effort to clean up the platform, it has now launched "Kindness Stickers" and tighter comment controls.

Instagram says you can now "turn any photo or video into a visual expression of kindness by using the new heart-shape sticker collection".

You can add one of six stickers – each of which was created "by artists from the Instagram global community" – to your updates.

It is now also a lot easier to control which users can and cannot comment on your posts.

If you have a public account, you can block all people, individual users or groups of people – such as users you follow or users that follow you – from commenting on your updates.

If you have a private account, you can block individual users.

The company has expanded its offensive comments filter to Arabic, French, German, and Portuguese users too.

“Instagram are continuing to provide mental health resources to people when they need them the most,” it said. “Now, when people see someone going through a difficult time or in need of support during a live broadcast, they can anonymously report it.

“The person will see a message offering help with options to talk to a helpline, reach out to a friend or get other tips and support.”

You can access the reporting tool by tapping the three dots in the comments bar at the bottom of the screen.

“This is an important step in ensuring that people get help wherever they are on Instagram or off,” the company said, adding that it wants to “keep Instagram a positive and safe place for self-expression, as its builds a community where everyone feels safe to be themselves without criticism or harassment.”

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