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Why Instagram’s Alleged Comment-Filtering Tool Couldn’t Have Come At A Better Time

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Word surrounding a super exclusive new Instagram comment-filtering tool surfaced just after the whole Kim-Kanye-Taylor “Famous” fiasco that went down a few weeks back. Though they had no concrete proof, fans of the feud speculated that Taylor Swift was avoiding some of the social media drama thanks to an Instagram-filtering application.

On Tuesday, Chrissy Teigen confirmed the rumours with a series of tweets regarding her own introduction to the new tool.

Though not available to everyone, this function has surfaced during a time when the online community unconsciously celebrates female bashing and girl-on-girl hate crimes with memes, viral videos and a variation of popular phrases like, “Yaas hunny, drag her.”

While some could argue that Instagram’s new feature goes against a human’s fundamental freedom of speech right, the tool arguably couldn’t have come at a better moment.

During a time when being a feminist is, dare I say, “trendy,” it’s difficult to comprehend why exactly it is that we as modern-day feminists are still drawn to bashing other females. If we’re all sisters fighting for the same cause, why does jealousy come easier than love?

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not excluding men from the Internet’s participation of pettiness. Males cyber bully and are victim to cyber bullying as well. But when taking a look at the recent cases of hate (and there’s a lot of them), there’s female-specific targeting that no one can deny. In just this year alone, we’ve seen brutal online hatred directed towards Leslie Jones, Kehlani, Daisey Ridley, Kristin Cavallari and Chrissy Teigen. And that’s just to name a few.

Because of the glitz and the glam of Hollywood, we often forget that celebrities are vulnerable humans, too. Like us, they have feelings that can be hurt with cruel words. The virtual world desensitizes us to this fact and instead we get off on creating memes and publishing tweets that we pray make it to viral status.

Earlier this year, 21-year-old Kehlani was subject to a hate unlike any other. Online abuse was sprung her way over rumours of an infidelity that lead the R&B singer to an attempted suicide.

“Today I wanted to leave this earth,” the singer has posted on a since-deleted Instagram post. “Never thought I’d get to such a low point.”

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To make matters worse, the comments kept rolling in, even after Kehlani had shared the personal post.

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Similarly, the hate trend continued all the way to the month of July, with the maliciousness directed towards Leslie Jones and former Hills cast member Kristin Cavallari, who was accused of starving her children.

Even though we’re not in the states, were still celebrating 🎉 hope everyone has a fun and safe 4th! #MyGuys

A photo posted by Kristin Cavallari (@kristincavallari) on

“Yep, I starve my children,” Kristin wrote in a reply. “Just blocked the most people I’ve ever blocked in my entire life. Happy 4th hahaha.”

In continuance, Star Wars: The Force Awakens actor Daisey Ridley’s departure from Instagram yesterday marked one of August’s first repercussions to online hate speech.

Social media is an amazing phenomenon that should be enjoyed by all, but the freedom to comment whatever you want without repressions has made hate speech too easy. Instead of growing accustomed to Internet sexism, racism and more, it’s about time social media platforms instilled better policies that discourage the ever-growing trend.

In a perfect world, hate wouldn’t exist and the need for a comment-filtering tool would be non-existent. But this isn’t a perfect world and as long as there aren’t any restrictions on how to treat people on social media, the ignorance will continue.