Instagram Filters HateSource: Instagram

What you need to know

  • Instagram is rolling out new tools to stop abuse on its platform.
  • It is going to let people limit comments and DMs during "spikes of increased attention".
  • It is also going to warn people about posting offensive comments, and filter abusive DMs.

Instagram has today announced it is rolling out new tools to help stop abuse on its platform, by limiting comments and DMs.

Instagram chief Adam Mosseri says that the company has a responsibility "to make sure everyone feels safe when they're on Instagram." stating the company already removes hate speech and bullying on the platform. Now, it is going one step further, by preventing people from ever having to experience it in the first place.

A new feature called Limits will let people automatically hide comments and DMs from people that don't follow you, as well as those who have only recently followed you. It is designed to help creators and public figures who sometimes encounter "sudden spikes of comments and DM requests from people they don't know". The move is in part a response to racist abuse aimed at England football players following the Euro 2020 final:

Our research shows that a lot of negativity towards public figures comes from people who don't actually follow them, or who have only recently followed them, and who simply pile on in the moment. We saw this after the recent Euro 2020 final, which resulted in a significant and unacceptable spike in racist abuse towards players.

Instagram says the feature lets creators maintain some level of community and relationship building, rather than switching off messages and comments completely. Instagram says it is also exploring ways to detect a spike in comments and DMs so it can prompt you to turn on Limits.

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Instagram is also going to start discouraging offensive content by warning people if it looks like a comment you're about to post is potentially offensive, with the warnings getting stronger the more comments you post.

Instagram is also rolling out Hidden Words, which automatically filters DMs with offensive words, phrases, and emojis into a separate folder you don't have to open if you don't want to. It also filters spam and low-quality DMs. This will be available to all users globally by the end of the month.