Technology

Instagram’s latest feature lets you limit comments and requests on popular posts

Instagram has launched new options known as Limits and Hidden Words designed to scale back hate and abuse on trending posts, the company announced. The replace is designed to guard its customers, significantly creators and public options, from seeing harassing, racist, homophobic and sexist content material in comments and DM requests. 

The new Limits feature, obtainable beginning immediately, will permit all customers to cover comments and DM requests from customers who both do not observe them or solely not too long ago began following them. On prime of that, the app will subject “an even stronger warning” and halt posting instantly if somebody tries to publish an offensive content material — moderately than ready for a repeat offense as earlier than. 

“Creators also tell us they don’t want to switch off comments and messages completely; they still want to hear from their community and build those relationships,” stated Instagram head Adam Mosseri in a blog post. “Limits allows you to hear from your long-standing followers, while limiting contact from people who might only be coming to your account to target you.” 

Instagram stated that it developed the options following racist abuse directed at UK footballers of their direct messages. “Our research shows that a lot of negativity towards public figures comes from people who don’t actually follow them, or who have only recently followed them, and who simply pile on in the moment,” stated Mosseri. 

We noticed this after the current Euro 2020 last, which resulted in a major — and unacceptable — spike in racist abuse in direction of gamers.

The different new feature, Hidden Words, permits customers to filter abusive messages in DM requests. If a request comprises any filter phrase you’ve chosen, it is robotically positioned in a hidden folder that you can select to by no means open — although it isn’t utterly deleted.

The replace, obtainable beginning immediately, arrives after Facebook introduced that it will make Instagram safer and extra non-public for teenagers. Changes launched final month embrace robotically making accounts non-public for teenagers underneath 16, limiting the power of advertisers to focus on personal data like “interests” and utilizing AI to detect a customers’ age. 

The adjustments additionally come as Facebook explores making a model of Instagram for teenagers underneath 13. While it is nonetheless within the early levels, the thought has drawn consideration from Democratic lawmakers who’ve requested the company to element precisely how it will work “given Facebook’s past failures to protect children,” they wrote. It is opposed by 44 state attorneys normal, who wrote that “this is a dangerous idea that risks the safety of our children and puts them directly in harm’s way.”  

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