People come to Instagram to connect, create, and share with others, and we want them to feel comfortable expressing themselves freely and authentically. As members of the Well-being team, our mission is to help Instagram stay a safe and supportive place for our community. And as content strategists, designers, and researchers focused on Well-being, our job is to understand both the good and bad experiences people may have, so we can amplify the good and support people through the bad. The problems we design for include mental health, where we address issues like self-harm and social comparison; hate speech; and bullying.
We’ve spent the better part of a year focusing on bullying because we know how deeply it can affect people’s feelings of self-esteem, well-being, and safety on Instagram. It’s a tough problem to tackle because it comes in many forms: from posting embarrassing photos of someone without their permission, to insulting them or their family, to threatening them with physical harm. What’s even more challenging is that we won’t have all the context, so we may assume people are bullies when they’re actually being bullied themselves. That’s why the solutions we build, and the words we use, need to show care for what they may be going through — without making them feel victimized.
As we create solutions for people, we hope to empower them to stop bullying when and where it happens — and to work towards preventing it from happening in the first place.