Instagram unveil new tools to combat offensive comments, abuse

For example, ‘Hidden Words feature' allows people to filter abusive DM requests.

San Francisco: Facebook-owned Instagram has announced to introduce a set of new features to help protect people from offensive comments and abuse on Instagram.

The new features will allow people to limit comments and DM requests during spikes of increased attention. Also, there will be stronger warnings when people try to post potentially offensive comments.

For example, ‘Hidden Words feature’ allows people to filter abusive DM requests.

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“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,” Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, said in a blogpost on Tuesday.

“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,” Mosseri added.

To help protect people when they experience or anticipate a rush of abusive comments and DMs, the company said it is introducing Limits — a feature that’s easy to turn on and will automatically hide comments and DM requests from people who don’t follow them.

“We developed this feature because we heard that creators and public figures sometimes experience sudden spikes of comments and DM requests from people they don’t know,” the company said.

Limits is now available to everyone on Instagram globally.

Instagram also said that if someone tries to post potentially offensive comments multiple times, the company 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. 

“Now, rather than waiting for the second or third comment, we’ll show this stronger message the first time,” the company said.

The photo-sharing platform also introduced recently announced Hidden Words, which allows users to automatically filter offensive words, phrases and emojis into a Hidden Folder.

The new feature also filters DM requests that are likely to be spammy or low-quality.

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