New York, NY, July 9, 2019 … ADL (Anti-Defamation League) issued the following statement regarding Instagram's announced design change to reduce harassment on their platform and improve the experience of targets of online hate and harassment:
"We welcome Instagram's new changes to address harassment on their platform. Putting the power to combat hate in the hands of users will make a tangible difference in the lives of both the targets and the perpetrators of online bullying. Encouraging positive interaction through reflection and self-evaluation, rather than issuing punitive responses, is more likely to lead to real growth and understanding. Solutions like these, often called friction or microboundaries, break the traditional rules of UX design to encourage users to stop and think. Additionally, Instagram's new ability for a user to “Restrict” a bully could help users maintain personal boundaries and feel safer. We hope Instagram will transparently track and share metrics on the efficacy of these features."
A recent ADL survey found that 37 percent of Americans experienced severe online hate and harassment in 2018, including sexual harassment, stalking, physical threats or sustained harassment. 16% of all Instagram users and 22% of daily Instagram users reported experiencing harassment.
Building on ADL’s century of experience building a world without hate, the Center for Technology and Society (CTS) serves as a resource to tech platforms and develops proactive solutions to fight hate both online and offline. CTS works at the intersection of technology and civil rights through education, research and advocacy.