As much as Facebook and its siblings are nobody’s best friends right now, Instagram’s been doing its best recently to make itself a safer space for users. Back in April it rolled out a feature letting users prevent abusive DMs from ever reaching their inboxes, and a month later it gave users the option to remove the ‘Like’ button and ‘Like counter’ from posts. Now it’s adding in a tool that lets users filter sensitive content out of their explore feeds.
Instagram gets a little sensitive
“We believe people should be able to shape Instagram into the experience that they want,” said Facebook announcing the Instagram update. “Today we’re launching Sensitive Content Control on Instagram, which allows you to decide how much sensitive content shows up in Explore.”
Instagram already has guidelines and algorithms in place to take down content that breaks its content policies. But it stipulates that ‘sensitive’ content is content that doesn’t break any rules, but still might be, “potentially upsetting to some”. It goes on to give sexually explicit or violent content as examples.
Users now have more control over what content they see pop up in their explore page. By navigating over to the ‘Sensitive Content Control’ tab in your profile settings, you can choose between three levels of sensitive content exposure: Allow, Limit, and Limit Even More.
Limit is the default setting, and specifies that, “You might see some photos and videos that could be upsetting”. Limit Even More naturally narrows it down further, though some content will still slip through the cracks. And Allow drops the walls pretty much entirely.
It’s worth noting that the Allow option isn’t available to users under the age of 18.
Whether this is a ploy to divert attention away from Facebook’s continued negative publicity, or a genuine concern for wider user safety on its platforms is up for debate. Regardless, it’s still a welcome feature.
“Our hope is that this gives you more choice, another way to make Instagram work better for you,” the platform says in closing.