So long, haters. Instagram’s latest platform update includes the comment filter feature we’ve all been waiting for. You can now program your settings so that certain words, phrases, or even emojis (we’re looking at you Taylor Swift), cannot show up on your page’s comment section. Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom made the announcement today on Instagram, of course, saying, “when Mike [Krieger] and I first created Instagram, we wanted it to be a welcoming community where people could share their lives … we want to work diligently to maintain what has kept Instagram positive and safe, especially in the comments on your photos and videos.”
The co-founders created the new feature as a way “to promote a culture where everyone feels safe to be themselves without criticism or harassment.” Hear, hear! “When you tap the gear icon on your profile, you’ll find a new Comments tool,” he explained in the caption. “This feature lets you list words you consider offensive or inappropriate. Comments with these words will be hidden from your posts.”
So what does this mean for the average person? Put simply, by programming your settings, you can eliminate the hate.
As a public figure who is no stranger to online trolls, Lena Dunham was especially excited about the newest feature. “I’m not here to bitch and moan, because that’s what my therapist is for,” she wrote in the caption of an Instagram of a neon sign reading “More Love.”
“I have often been disappointed by what feels like a lack of effort to protect people online from racist, misogynist, ableist, xenophobic & transphobic language,” she continued. “That’s why I’m so pleased Instagram is taking the lead to help protect their 500 million users from unwanted and abusive comments.” Dunham goes on to explain how the feature works, listing “mons pubis,” “thong,” and “bag of cottage cheese” as her unwanted words, and thanking the Instagram founders for “giv[ing] us this tool to keep unnecessary negativity out of our feeds and hearts,” and encouraged her followers to use it, too.
Chrissy Teigen was one of the first to test out the beta version of the feature back in July, tweeting her chosen banned words, including “Trump,” “slut,” and “cleanse.”
Kylie Jenner, too, was one of the filter’s testers, eliminating the comment section on her Instagrams altogether.
Internet trolls, it’s time to start backing down and backing off. The face behind every Instagram page belongs to a real person, and it’s time to start treating everyone as such. Thank you, Instagram, for helping to bring about the beginning of the end of Internet hate.