Instagram’s latest features help you filter abusive messages and avoid unwanted contact
Instagram today announced a couple of new features that aim to help users avoid abusive messages and unwanted contact on the platform. The new features are a part of Instagram’s recent efforts to combat abuse and hate speech, which includes strict penalties for people who send abusive Direct Messages.
The latest Instagram features to combat abuse and hate speech include a new tool that automatically filters DM requests containing offensive words, phrases, and emojis, according to a recent blog post on the matter. The tool is similar to Instagram’s existing comment filters, which let you hide offensive comments and choose what words/phrases you don’t want others to use in the comments on your posts. You can enable this new tool by heading over to the app’s Privacy Settings and tapping on the new Hidden Words option.
After you enable the feature, Instagram will automatically start filtering DM requests that include a word or phrase from a predefined list of offensive terms. You’ll also have the option to create your own custom list of words, phrases, and emojis that you don’t want to see in your DM requests. All filtered messages will appear in a new hidden requests folder.
If you choose to open this folder, the message text will be obscured so that you’re not confronted with offensive language, unless you give explicit permission. You’ll also get the option to accept, delete, or report message requests in the folder. Instagram reassures that all message filtering will take place on your device only, which means that the feature won’t send any message content back to the company’s servers. The new content filtering feature for DM requests will start rolling out in several countries in the coming weeks, with a broader rollout to follow in the next few months.
Additionally, Instagram is making it harder for people who you’ve already blocked from contacting you again using a new account. For this purpose, the company will add a new option in the block menu that will let you preemptively block new accounts that the person may create in the future. This new option will start showing up for users worldwide in the next few weeks.
On top of that, Instagram is working on improving existing features that combat abuse and hate speech on the platform. The company now gives users with a public account the option to only allow comments from people they follow and/or their followers. Furthermore, the platform has started proactively hiding common misspellings of offensive words from your manual filter list.
Along with the features mentioned above, Instagram is working on a host of other new features that should make their way to the app soon. These include end-to-end encryption in chats, a new Collab sticker, and the ability to save drafts of your story. Follow the links to learn more about these features.