Instagram has announced new features on its platform that will help protect users from abuse and offensive comments on the platform. The new feature allows users to limit DM requests and comments. There would also be strong warnings when others try to post offensive comments. Instagram head Adam Mosseri had referenced in a video update shared with the Instagram community last month saying that the company was testing the new anti-harassment tools that would give users a way to temporarily lock down accounts when targeted with abuse or harassment. This addon will help in combating racist attacks that were seen witnessed on the platform following the Euro 2020 finals where many football players for England were relentlessly harassed by angry fans. The incident raised awareness on how Instagram users could do nothing to protect themselves when gone viral for the wrong reasons.
In situations like these, Instagram users see a rush of unwanted comments and DM requests from unknown people, but with the Limits feature, users could choose who to interact with within these given times. Using Instagram’s privacy settings, one will be able to toggle on limits that would restrict accounts not following you. Using limits, these accounts won’t be able to send DM requests or post comments for a period of time, as per request, which could be certain days or weeks as well. Instagram has been experimenting with this feature using machine learning that detects a rise in DM requests and comments, in order to aid users to turn on Limits via a notification within the app.
Another feature on the platform is ‘Hidden Words’, which is designed to protect users from abusive DM requests. The feature automatically filters offensive words and emojis by placing them into a Hidden Folder. It also helps filter out spam requests. The Hidden Words feature had already been rolled out in many countries earlier this year and are likely to reach all users by the end of this month. Instagram would push this feature to users with a large following base to use it in their DM as well as Stories tray.
Instagram has also expanded a new option of “Hide More Comments,” which lets users hide comments that don’t go against the platform guidelines but could be potentially harmful. Other changes include a warning sign that is displayed when someone posts abusive comments. With these new features in effect, Instagram has put more power into the creators’ hands to tackle online abuse.