Instagram's new tools scrub nasty comments and spam

Instagram's new tools scrub nasty comments and spam
Posted at 11:10 AM, Jun 29, 2017

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Instagram is continuing its crackdown on trolls.

The Facebook-owned photo-sharing app on Thursday introduced a tool that blocks offensive comments and a filter that removes spam in comments.

The first feature blocks offensive comments, like explicit sexual content or harassment, on both posts and live video. Users will still be able to report, delete and turn off comments.

To use the new blocking tool, you'll need to tap the menu on one of your photos and scroll to "Comments." From there, you can turn on "Hide Offensive Comments."

The comments are hidden from everyone except the person who made the offensive comment. This helps prevent users from trying to work around the technology.

The feature launches in English first but will be available in more languages "over time."

Meanwhile, the spam filter is available in a handful of languages, including English, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, French, German, Russian, Japanese and Chinese. The tool searches for spammy comments -- such as "follow @todl1276897 to win a free iPhone!!!" -- and wipes them from posts and live videos.

"We hope to make these filters available in more languages as our algorithms improve," the company said in a blog post.

Last December, Instagram added a feature that let users turn off comments on individual Instagram posts. The company also introduced a tool last year that allows users to block posts with certain keywords.