Recently, Instagram has been working on new content moderation features to help its users avoid and prevent abuse on the platform. Now it’s announced that it’s rolling a few of them out globally in a new update, which aims to protect users from forms of abuse such as racism, homophobia and sexism.
Instagram’s all about the community
First on the list is a new ‘Limits’ feature. When turned on, this will hide comments and DMs from people who don’t follow you, or are very new followers. It’s specifically geared towards creators experiencing or expecting to experience sudden spikes in comments following some sort of viral event. Instagram specifically mentions the recent controversy surrounding the Euro 2020 football final, the results of which saw several players from the English team’s accounts flooded with racist abuse following its loss.
That doesn’t mean an average user can’t make use of the feature, just that it was designed with that particular sort of incident in mind. Limits roll out to all users today, and you can find its toggle in your privacy settings.
Instagram is also continuing its worldwide rollout of the ‘Hidden Words’ feature, which it announced back in April. The feature lets you filter out harmful words and phrases in comments and DMs, and tucks them away into a ‘Hidden Folder’ that you never even have to look at. The social media platform has expanded on its initial list of abusive words and plans to continue working on the feature. It’s also added a ‘Hide More Comments’ option that filters out comments that don’t break any of Instagram’s rules but might still be harmful to some people. The platform plans to roll the feature out to everyone by the end of the month.
Finally, when it’s not using prompts to push people into opting-in to ad tracking or reminding them that Facebook exists, Instagram uses them to warn people that what they’re about to say might not be all that nice. Instagram will now sternly warn users if their comment might be offensive or in violation of community guidelines, and that it could be taken down as a result. Just how effective this is at stopping potential offenders in their tracks is up for debate, but at the very least it might eventually drive home to them that they aren’t the nicest folks around.
Instagram isn’t done yet, saying that it will continue to add to and improve its content moderation features so that everyone can enjoy the platform sans abuse.