Many of you know that I've dealt with my share of Internet trolls. I'm not here to bitch and moan, because that's what my therapist is for, but I have often been disappointed by what feels like a lack of effort to protect people online from racist, misogynist, ableist, xenophobic & transphobic language. I've even read clear threats! Social media communities should engender a dialogue, not become tools for verbal abuse. As a public person I know I'm taking on a certain amount of hate, and I armor myself (though that doesn't mean I don't go totally effing nuts when I see some of my heroes getting attacked online for things like their race or sexuality.) But I can't help but wonder how people without the same resources have learned to cope. What about teenagers who are still forming their identities, and for whom cyber-abuse is an absolute threat to their mental health? That's why I'm so pleased Instagram is taking the lead to help protect their 500 million users from unwanted and abusive comments. Now, when you tap the gear icon on your profile, you’ll find a new Comments tool. This lets you make a list of words you consider offensive or inappropriate (for me those are "mons pubis" "thong" and "bag of cottage cheese".) Any comments with these words will not appear on your posts. You can choose your own list of words or just use the default words Insta has kindly provided. I'm so excited that they've given us this tool to keep unnecessary negativity out of our feeds and hearts. So, use it! Plus, this is in addition to the tools they've already developed- so please keep on swiping to delete gross comments, reporting inappropriate creeps and blocking like your life depends on it. Because guess what? Someone's might. Love you! Lena (link to @kevin's post about these developments in bio. Image by the one & only Tracy Emin 💗)
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.
Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.
Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.
Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.