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Instagram is reportedly letting Taylor Swift test a tool that could see celebrities block abusive comments

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By Rebecca Stewart | Trends Editor

July 25, 2016 | 4 min read

Instagram is reportedly allowing Taylor Swift and other high profile figures on Instagram test a tool that "blocks" negative comments.

The Facebook-owned image sharing site is rumoured to have quietly awarded Swift, and other popular accounts, the power to remove negative or spammy comments made in response to images they have shared.

Taylor Swift Instagram Kim Kardashian West Block Comments

Instagram is letting Taylor Swift test a tool designed to tackle online abuse

Instagram has yet to confirm whether Swift, who has over 86 million followers, is using the tool, but a source told the Times it was being developed to help famous people with a "high volume of comments" deal with abuse.

Swift found herself subject to an online backlash last week following a spat between herself and Kim Kardashian West over a leaked Snapchat video that the musician's team apparently tried to have blocked. The footage showed the 'Shake If Off Singer' approving a line mentioning her in rapper Kayne West's track 'Famous' – something Swift had previously denied.

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After taking to Twitter and Instagram to give her side of the story the Grammy Award winner received thousands of comments on Twitter and Instagram containing a snake emoji in reference to a tweet posted by Kardashian lamenting the fact that it was 'national snake day'.

According to the Times the new feature means that rather than having to individuals delete hundreds or thousands of comments, as a regular user would have to, high profile users – or whoever is controlling their account is able to remove them en masse immediately.

The paper reports that the measure "or a variant of it" may eventually be introduced for other users with a high number of posts, which could potentially mean brands and advertisers could use it.

Users attempting to post any string of emojis underneath Swift's pictures have reported having their comments blocked, with any comment containing more than 26 'special characters' being vetoed.

An Instagram spokesman said: “We’re always looking for better ways to help people prevent spammy or inappropriate comments on Instagram.”

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