Instagram is adding two new tools to fight trolls and abuse on the platform, including a filter for abusive messages and a tool to preemptively block someone from contacting using a new account.
The first of the two automatically filters DM requests that contain offensive words, phrases and emojis. The filter will focus on DM requests and not the regular inbox, as the company says that’s where people usually receive abusive messages.
The filter works like Instagram’s comment filter. Users will choose the words, phrases or emojis they don’t want to see in their DM requests. The tool also comes with a predefined list of offensive terms, and people can add their own.
Any DM requests filtered will be sent to a hidden requests section. If the user decides to view the hidden DM requests, any word, phrase or emoji included in the predefined or custom list will be removed from the message.
Users will be able to access the DM request tool, alongwith a comment filter, in a new section in the app’s privacy settings called ‘hidden words’.
According to Instagram, the message filtering tool functions at the device level, and so none of the message content will be shared with their servers unless it is reported.
The message filtering tool is rolling out in the coming weeks to select countries and a broader rollout is expected in the next few months.
The company is also working on an enhanced blocking feature, allowing users to block someone directly and block any new account that the person might create in the future — blocking them forever.
The new blocking feature will be rolled out globally in the next few weeks.
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