Instagram has added a feature to stop users from seeing abusive messages by filtering offensive words, phrases and emojis on the photo-sharing app. With the filter option for abusive direct messages, it will also let you block trollers.

As Instagram describes, most hateful or unwanted messages come from DM requests. These are direct messages from unknown users that have never messaged you or that you may not even follow. Instagram will start filtering a list of keywords and emojis created in collaboration with leading anti-discrimination and anti-bullying organisations.

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Abusive content flowing around is not a secret on social media. Instagram understands that nobody should have to experience that on its platform. But the issue is not that easy to fight as there are many challenges. For instance, tracking publicly visible comments is possible but tracing the content of a DM is not possible. That is the most common medium of abuse and hate speech.

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What do users do?

Users will be able to switch filters on and off for DMs and comments in a new Hidden Words privacy section. They can add words, phrases and emojis they don’t want to see.

With the new feature, if you block someone, you’ll have the option to block any other account made by that person. It’s unclear how Instagram will detect that. We assume, using the person’s registration details like the email address and phone number.

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The new measures designed to limit abuse on Instagram won’t be available immediately. This feature will be available to everyone in the next few weeks.


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