Instagram is ramping up its anti-abuse efforts, including a not-so-subtle reminder to stay civil. When you message a creator, the company will send you “kindness reminders” asking you to “keep Instagram a supportive place.”
This is unlikely to deter committed trolls when it launches in the “coming weeks,” but the social network clearly hopes it will give people pause before hurling insults in a fit of rage. When responding to potentially offensive comments, you’ll see similar prompts.
Filters should be more useful as well. Instagram is testing a method that would enable Hidden Words comment and DM filtering for creator accounts by default. To keep toxic language out of discussions, you wouldn’t have to turn it on.
All users can now use Hidden Words to screen Story replies (which will be stored in the Hidden Requests folder), and the company will soon begin filtering English DM requests containing scams and spam.
You may also find it easier to block evasive abusers. In addition to the ability to automatically block new accounts that a user creates, you can now auto-block accounts that the user already has. A harasser cannot simply change accounts to make her life miserable.
The changes come as the Senate, UK regulators, and others put pressure on Instagram to reduce abuse and privacy violations, particularly for teenagers.
This is on top of the ongoing fallout from whistleblower Frances Haugen’s allegations that parent company Meta knowingly promotes inflammatory content. Updates like this one imply that Instagram wishes to calm things down.
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