In a bid to tackle hate speech on its platform, Instagram has now launched new features that will protect users from abusive messages.
In a blog post today (April 21), Instagram revealed a new update will focus on abuse received in the DMs.
“Because DMs are private conversations, we don’t proactively look for hate speech or bullying the same way we do elsewhere on Instagram,” an Instagram spokesperson said.
“That’s why we’re introducing a new tool which, when turned on, will automatically filter DM requests containing offensive words, phrases and emojis, so you never have to see them.”
In a similar way to the comment filters already offered by Instagram, users will be able to create a list of words, phrases or emojis they want to filter out of their DM requests. Requests containing those specific terms will be put into a separate hidden requests folder.
If a user chooses to access that folder, the abusive text will be covered so they don’t have to see it but they can tap to uncover it if they wish to. They will then have the option to accept, delete it, or report the request.
Instagram also announced it will be making it harder for someone you’ve blocked to contact you again through another account. Users will now have the option to block an account and any new accounts they might make.
The company said it understands the impact “racist, sexist, homophobic, or any other kind of abuse” can have on people”, adding: “Nobody should have to experience that on Instagram.”
The features will begin rolling out in select countries in the coming weeks and will expand globally afterwards.