“Go kill yourself.”
Do you know how many times these words are said every single day? Looking at the cyber-bullying statistics, I think it’s accurate to say it’s more times than it ever should be.
One in five children are cyber-bullied, and it’s no coincidence suicide is the biggest killer of our teenagers. Is there a link? Absolutely there is, and finally one of the biggest social media companies has done something about it.
This week Instagram introduced a new filter to help stop ‘harassment’ on their platform. There is now an option to ‘hide inappropriate comments’, and even though it has flaws this is a huge step forward for online safety.
All teachers and parents need to be aware of this new filter.
Instagram doesn’t have the same age restrictions as Facebook and is sadly a common place for online bullying amongst our young people.
Some parents think it’s the safest because it’s ‘just posting photos’, but sadly this is not the case.
Please sit down with your child tonight or at school tomorrow and talk them through these steps. I’ll put it in easy iPhone instructions:
1. Firstly you need to make sure you have the most recent/updated version of Instagram. Visit to the App Store and see if you need to update.
2. Click onto the Instagram profile — this is the person picture icon in your bottom right hand corner.
3. Click on the circle in the right hand corner. It looks like a sun or a circle with spikes.
4. Keep scrolling through that list to settings and click on comments.
5. Make sure the switch that says ‘hide inappropriate comments’ is on and pushed across to the right. You should be able to see blue on the left.
6. Below that you will see CUSTOM KEYWORDS. In that section, write every bad word that has ever been said to your child and I want you to include the words ‘kill’ and ‘hang’.
This new filter is brilliant but I have tested a few common, vile messages to see if they were filtered out and they weren’t covered by the standard filter, but were in the custom keyword category.