In an attempt to put a stop to offensive comments and unwanted abuse the photo-sharing app Instagram is rolling out new tools to protect users from abuse. From now onward the app will also show strict warnings when users try to post potential hate comments on social media platforms. The new functionality will allow users to limit comments and DM requests during spikes of increased attention.
While announcing the feature Instagram said, “We have a responsibility to make sure everyone feels safe when they come to Instagram. We don’t allow hate speech or bullying on Instagram, and we remove it whenever we find it. We also want to protect people from having to experience this abuse in the first place, which is why we’re constantly listening to feedback from experts and our community, and developing new features to give people more control over their experience on Instagram, and help protect them from abuse.”
Instagram’s new anti-abuse tools are rolled out globally with the new Hidden Words feature, which gives people the ability to filter abusive DM requests. The move will help protect people when they experience or anticipate a rush of abusive comments and DMs so Limits- will automatically hide comments and DM requests from people who don’t follow you, or who only recently followed you easily. According to the company, this feature was developed when it came across creators and public figures sometimes experiencing sudden spikes of comments and DM requests from people they don’t know. Instagram says, “In many cases, this is an outpouring of support — like if they go viral after winning an Olympic medal. But sometimes it can also mean an influx of unwanted comments or messages. Now, if you’re going through that — or think you may be about to — you can turn on Limits and avoid it.”
As per the research done by the social media owned by Facebook 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 at the moment. Creators also don’t want to switch off comments and messages completely; they still want to hear from their community and build those relationships. Limits allow you to hear from your long-standing followers while limiting contact from people who might only be coming to your account to target you.
Instagram Limits will be accessible to everyone and can be easily turned on/off from the privacy setting. The application is also finding ways to detect when you may be experiencing a spike in comments and DMs, so it can prompt you to turn on Limits.
In addition to this people will now get Stronger warnings when people try to post potentially offensive comments. “And if they try to post potentially offensive comments multiple times, we show an even stronger warning – reminding them of our Community Guidelines and warning them that we may remove or hide their comment if they proceed,” the company explained. Rather than waiting for the second or third comment, we’ll show this stronger message the first time, this will discourage harassment and posting something hurtful. And to help protect people from abuse in their DM requests Instagram has also introduced Hidden Words, which allows you to automatically filter offensive words, phrases and emojis into a Hidden Folder, that you never have to open if you don’t want to. It will also filter out spam or low-quality DM requests. Moreover, Instagram has also expanded the list of potentially offensive words, hashtags and emojis that automatically filters out comments, and will continue updating it frequently. The photo-sharing application recently added a new opt-in option to “Hide More Comments” that may be potentially harmful, even if they may not break our rules.
“We hope these new features will better protect people from seeing abusive content, whether it’s racist, sexist, homophobic or any other type of abuse. We know there’s more to do, including improving our systems to find and remove abusive content more quickly, and holding those who post it accountable”, Instagram stated.
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