Instagram says it's the next step in its commitment to "foster kind, inclusive communities", but really it's just the right thing to do for our collective sanity online.
Instagram's comment and spam filters are based on DeepText, an artificial intelligence effort developed in-house at Facebook, as Wired reported Thursday. Instagram knows that toxic comments discourage you from sharing on Instagram, so it is now by default applying a filter that will block offensive comments. Instagram hired a team of people that can classify comments as spam or not. Initially, the AI will only be used for English comments or spam, and if the algorithms being used are effective, the AI will later move onto Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, French, German, Russian, Japanese and Chinese comments. If so, you might also be aware that it ends up providing the means of delivery for a lot of hurtful invective, hurled about with reckless abandon and little consideration for its ultimate impact. All other comments will appear as they normally do and you can still report comments, delete comments or turn them off.
Instagram said that the filter scanning for spam is created to work in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.
The Facebook-owned photo-sharing app on Thursday introduced a tool that blocks offensive comments and a filter that removes spam in comments. Instagram has apparently formulated a spam filter that can remove spam in several languages. The anti-abuse filter, meanwhile, is only available in English at the moment with plans to release updates in nine more languages.
Instagram reportedly launched the DeepText system quietly back in October to take on widespread spamming. Since Instagram specifically mentions that the algorithms will "improve over time", expect them to be a little rough around the edges.