Most of the abuse happening on Instagram takes place in Direct Messages (DMs) which is harder to regulate compared to public comments. Their recent update works to combat abuse and hate speech on the platform and help prevent this type of behavior. This new feature will automatically filter DMs containing offensive words, phrases, and emojis.
Updated Rules Against Hate Speech
In a previous statement about tackling abuse on the social media platform, Instagram made clear its stance on hate speech. They announced an update to their rules regarding verbal harassment and banned “content depicting Blackface and common anti-Semitic tropes”. The technology to proactively detect abusive messages like hate speech or bullying may not be readily available online but filtering DMs is now easier with their new tool.
Filter Abusive Messages
Instagram does not have much control over private conversations happening in DMs. That’s why eliminating all forms of abuse on the platform has proven to be a difficult task. But with the new feature that they’re introducing, users will have the option to turn on this tool that automatically filters DM requests containing anything offensive. This feature focuses on DM requests because they’ve found that abusive messages usually come from people you aren’t connected with.
How to Turn on the DM Request Filter
There’s already the option to filter comments and filtering DM requests work similarly. With the new feature, you’ll be able to toggle the filter on and off for both your comment section and DMs. To hide offensive comments and block certain keywords, just go to the tab found under Privacy Settings called Hidden Words. They will then be archived in a separate hidden requests folder where you can either choose to read it, delete it, or report it.
This new feature is Instagram’s way of protecting users from unwelcome messages while respecting their privacy. They’ve only started rolling out this feature in a few countries and expect other countries to have the update over the next few months. No more dealing with words, phrases, or emojis from random strangers on Instagram.