Saturday 23 September 2017

Instagram to introduce new photo safety features as YouTube ad woes continue

Instagram is to begin blurring posted photos deemed sensitive to users, while not blocking them outright.
Instagram is to begin blurring posted photos deemed sensitive to users, while not blocking them outright.
Adrian Weckler

Adrian Weckler

Instagram is to begin blurring posted photos deemed sensitive to users, while not blocking them outright.

The company’s co-founder and chief executive, Kevin Systrom, says that some posts do not fall foul of Instagram’s posting rules but are still considered sensitive to some users. A spokeswoman for Facebook cited pictures posted by animal rights’ groups depicting cruelty as an example.

From now on, the company will start blurring posted shots that have been reported by other users. The move does not change Instagram’s posting rules on what content is permissible.

“Soon you may notice a screen over sensitive photos and videos when you scroll through your feed or visit a profile,” said Instagram chief executive Kevin Systrom.

“While these posts don’t violate our guidelines, someone in the community has reported them and our review team has confirmed they are sensitive. This change means you are less likely to have surprising or unwanted experiences in the app. If you’d like to see a post that is covered with a screen, simply tap to reveal the photo or video.”

Mr Systrom also said that two-factor authentication is now available.

“This tool adds an extra layer of security to your Instagram account by requiring a code every time you log in,” he said. “Tap the gear icon on your profile and choose two-factor authentication to turn it on.”

The move comes as rival company Google continues to see major advertisers suspend campaigns over objectionable content in YouTube videos.

Three of the biggest US advertisers, AT&T, Verizon and Johnson & Johnson, have suspended ads on the video platform. This follows confirmation by one of Ireland's biggest ad agencies, Core Media, that it has "paused" all of its clients' ad campaigns on YouTube and Google Display Network.

Companies such as Marks & Spencer, McDonald's and Tesco have already withdrawn advertising from YouTube in the UK because of their ads being placed within extremist YouTube videos. Such videos include rape apologists, anti-Semitism and terrorist propaganda. Under Google's advertising system, creators of such videos get paid around €7 for every thousand clicks.

Core Media, which represents Heineken, AIB and the National Lottery among others, made its decision to suspend ad campaigns with YouTube and GDN over concerns that ads were appearing within videos that did not suit their clients' branding.

"Until we are confident that a solution to the brand safety challenge is in place, Core Media is pausing all ad campaigns on YouTube and GDN," said Alan Cox, chief executive of Core Media.

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