Instagram is using machine learning to detect bullying in photos and their captions. Carl Court/Getty Images

Instagram introduced last year a feature to its app that allowed users to filter out offensive language in the comment section. Now, Instagram is expanding that feature to photos and captions using machine learning.

Instagram says that it will soon proactively detect bullying in photos and their captions using machine learning technology. Although the feature will work by itself through AI, photos and captions that are classified as having bullying content will still be sent to Instagram’s community operations team to be reviewed by human moderators.

“This change will help us identify and remove significantly more bullying — and it’s a crucial next step since many people who experience or observe bullying don’t report it,” said Adam Mosseri, the new head of Instagram. “It will also help us protect our youngest community members since teens experience higher rates of bullying online than others. This new technology has begun to roll out and will continue to in the coming weeks.”

In addition to proactively detecting bullying in photos and their captions, Instagram is expanding the reach of its comment filter to live videos. Previously, hiding offensive comments was only available on posts shared on the Feed, the Explore page and the users’ profiles.

Comment Controls
Users must enable "Hide Offensive Comments." Instagram

Mosseri says that the comment filter for live videos is now available globally. To enable this, users must go to Instagram’s settings, open Comment Controls and enable “Hide Offensive Comments.” Users also have the option to manually enter words to hide and to filter the “most reported words,” as pointed out by TechCrunch.

Apart from these new features, Instagram is adding a new Instagram camera effect “to celebrate and inspire kindness” on the platform. The company has worked alongside dancer, author and actor Maddie Ziegler to launch this new kindness camera effect. Users who are already following Maddie on Instagram should have access to the new kindness filter.

Kindness Camera Effect
The new camera effect should already be available to users who are following Maddie Ziegler on Instagram. Instagram

The Instagram camera effect will encourage users to tag a friend in order to spread kindness. The selfie version of the effect puts hearts onto the user’s face. When using the rear-facing camera, the effect will overlay kind comments in the background in different languages.

“In honor of National Bullying Prevention Month in the US, the upcoming Anti-Bullying Week in the UK and anti-bullying efforts around the world, we are pleased to announce these new ways to combat bullying on our platform,” Mosseri said. “There’s more work to do, and we will continue to do our part to protect the community so that you can safely be yourself on Instagram.”