Instagram is introducing new features to assist users in combating online abuse
Instagram has announced a number of new features aimed at protecting users from abuse on its platform. During periods of increased attention, the Facebook-owned social media platform will allow users to limit comments and direct messages (DM). It will also give stronger warnings when people try to post offensive language. Hidden Words, a feature that blocks abusive DM requests, is also being rolled out on Instagram. All users should be able to see the new features soon.
A blog post on Instargram's website announced the new features. Limits, a new feature from the image-sharing platform, will automatically hide comments and DM requests from people who don't follow the user or who have just started following the user. "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 in the moment," according to Instagram research.
The Limits feature will be available worldwide beginning August 10th. From the Privacy settings, you can turn it on or off. Instagram also says it's working on detecting when a user is likely to have a spike like this, so it can prompt them to turn on Limits.
When someone tries to post a potentially offensive or abusive comment on another user's post, Instagram already displays a warning. Previously, a stronger message was displayed after the second or third offensive comment, but the social media platform has stated in a recent blog post that it will begin to display stronger messages right away.
The platform recently announced the addition of a filter to help combat online hate speech. Users can now automatically filter offensive words, phrases, and emojis into a hidden folder with the new Hidden Words feature. DM requests that are likely to be "spammy or low-quality" are also filtered by this feature. This feature will be available globally by the end of the month, according to Instagram.