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Instagram turns to machine learning to clean up its comments

Two new filters will help keep offensive comments and spam off your posts.


Instagram is cracking down on unwanted comments. 

/ AFP/Getty Images

Are offensive comments on your Instagram posts ruining your brunch?

The photo-sharing site is introducing two filters to clean up those comments, the company said Thursday in a blog post signed by Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom.

The first automatically keeps certain offensive comments off your posts before you see them. The second looks for spam comments and blocks them as well.

Both of these filters use machine learning to recognize offensive or spam comments. That's a central element in artificial intelligence -- the ability for computers to adapt on their own to the information they're encountering, rather than relying on explicit commands from humans.

"We believe that using machine learning to build tools to safeguard self-expression is an important step in fostering more inclusive, kinder communities," the post said. It noted that the tools will improve over time.

The filter for offensive comments rolls out in English on Thursday. The spam filter is already rolled out, and it works in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish and Russian.