Instagram has introduced new features called Restrictions and Hidden Words designed to reduce hate and abuse of popular posts announced. The update is designed to protect its users, especially creators and public content, from viewing harassing, racist, homophobic and sexist content in comments and messaging requests.
The new Restrictions feature, available as of today, will allow all users to hide comments and DM requests from users who either don’t follow them or have only recently started following them. On top of that, the app will issue an “even stronger warning” and stop posting immediately if someone tries to post offensive content – instead of waiting for the violation to be repeated as before.
“The creators also tell us they don’t want to completely exclude comments and messages; they still want to hear their community and build those relationships,” Instagram chief Adam Mosseri told blog post. “Restrictions allow you to hear from your longtime followers, while restricting contact with people who might just come to your account to target you.”
Instagram said it developed features following the racist abuse inflicted on British footballers in their direct messages. “Our research shows that a lot of negativity towards public figures comes from people who don’t actually follow them, or have only recently followed them, and who are simply piling up at the moment,” Mosseri said.
We saw this after the recent Euro 2020 final, which resulted in a significant – and unacceptable – increase in racist abuse of players.
Another new feature, Hidden Words, allows users to filter offensive messages in DM requests. If the request contains any of the filtering words you have selected, it is automatically placed in a hidden folder that you can choose to never open – even though it has not been completely deleted.
The update, available as of today, arrives after Facebook announced to make Instagram safer and more private for teens. The changes introduced last month include automatic billing for teenagers under the age of 16, limiting advertisers ‘ability to target personal information such as “interest,” and using artificial intelligence to detect users’ ages.
Changes also occur when Facebook investigates the creation of an Instagram version for children under the age of 13. Although it is still in its early stages, the idea has attracted attention Democratic lawmakers who asked the company to explain in detail how it would work “given Facebook’s past failures to protect children,” they wrote. He opposes that 44 state prosecutors, who wrote that “this is a dangerous idea that endangers the safety of our children and puts them directly in danger”.
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