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Instagram introduces 3 new features to fight abuse

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Instagram has announced three new features to help protect its audience from Abuse on the platform. The new features include limiting comments and DM requests, stronger warnings when posting potentially offensive comments and a global rollout of the Hidden Words feature, which allows people to filter abusive DM requests.

Instagram says they’re constantly receiving feedback from experts and the community to develop new features that allow people to have more control over their Instagram experience and protect themselves from abuse.

“We have a responsibility to make sure everyone feels safe when they come to Instagram. We don’t allow hate speech or bullying on Instagram, and we remove it whenever we find it,” stated Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, on Tuesday. 

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‘Limits’ limits comments

The new comment limiting feature, called Limits, is now available globally and allows people to automatically hide comments and DM requests from people who don’t follow them or have recently started following them.

The feature is beneficial for creators who don’t want to turn off their comments altogether as they might still want to hear from their communities and engage with them, including long-standing fans and followers. 

The feature can be enabled from within the privacy settings on the platform. The company added that they’re also exploring ways to detect when a person might go through a spike in comments and DMs so that they can prompt them to turn on Limits. 

Harrassers now get stronger warnings

Instagram already shows a warning when someone tries to post a potentially offending comment, even going as far as deleting the accounts of repeat offenders. 

However, instead of waiting for someone to repeat the same offence twice or thrice, the platform will give a strong warning the first time around. The warning reminds the person posting the comment of the community guidelines and warns that their comment may be hidden or deleted if posted. 

The company claims that over one million warnings were shown per day on average to people making such comments in the last week. Out of these, roughly 50% of the comments were either edited or deleted based on the warnings.

Tackling DM and comment abuse

Following the recent announcement of Hidden Words — a feature that allows people to automatically filter abusive or offensive words, phrases or emojis and send them to a hidden folder, Instagram has finally announced a global rollout. The feature also filters DM requests that are likely spam or low quality. 

While the feature was available in select countries, it’ll be rolled out globally by the end of this month. The company states that it’ll continue encouraging accounts with a rather large following to enable the feature.

The list of potentially offensive words, hashtags, and emojis used to filter out comments has also expanded and will be updated frequently. In addition, a new opt-in option to hide more comments has also been added to hide more offensive comments further, even if they aren’t exactly in breach of the community guidelines. 

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Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah is a Computer Science graduate who writes/edits/shoots/codes all things cybersecurity, gaming, and tech hardware. When he's not, he streams himself racing virtual cars. He's been writing and reporting on tech and cybersecurity with websites like Candid.Technology and MakeUseOf since 2018. You can contact him here: