Instagram is working to get abuse and hate speech off of its platform using sterner moderation practices and strict penalties for misconduct, making the online platform safer for all users. The social media giant has announced a new tool in pursuit of that effort that blocks abusive messages from your DMs.
Instagram explains that since DMs are private, it can’t root around them itself looking for harmful content. So, this new tool is effectively a filter that blocks message requests containing, “containing offensive words, phrases and emojis.”
Words with Instagram
The reason the tool applies to message requests and not regular DMs from people who already follow you is because this is where people more commonly receive hate messages, Instagram explains. The feature works like the Instagram comment filter, and has been fine tuned with the help of, “leading anti-discrimination and anti-bullying organizations,”, who have helped come up with a list of hateful words that will trigger the filter. Users can also add their own words to the list.
DM requests that contain words the filter picks up are tossed into a “hidden requests” folder, where users can then decide what to do with them. The messages themselves remain censored so users don’t ever have to see hateful messages. They can delete them , report them, or open them up if they desire.
Additionally, Instagram is rolling out a different tool that can “preemptively block” new accounts created by someone previously blocked by a user. Creating a new account is often the work-around people go to after being blocked by someone, but this tool should help curb that.
These features are coming to “several countries” within the coming weeks, and should expand further in a few months.