Instagram is expanding its efforts to fight abuse, and that includes not-so-subtle encouragement to stay civil. The company is introducing DM “kindness reminders” that ask you to “keep Instagram a supportive place” when you message a creator. This probably won’t deter committed trolls when it arrives in the “coming weeks,” but the social network clearly hopes it will give pause to people who’d otherwise hurl insults in a fit of rage. You’ll see similar prompts when replying to potentially offensive comments.
Filters should also be more useful. Instagram is testing an approach that would enable Hidden Words comment and DM filtering by default for creator accounts. You wouldn’t have to switch it on to keep toxic language out of discussions. All users can now use Hidden Words to screen Story replies (they’ll sit in the Hidden Requests folder), and the company will soon begin filtering English DM requests involving scams and spam.
You may also have an easier time blocking elusive abusers. On top of the existing power to automatically block new accounts someone creates, you can now auto-block accounts that user already has. A harasser can’t just switch to an alternate account to make your life miserable.
The additions come as Instagram faces pressure from the Senate, UK regulators and others to curb abuse and privacy violations, particularly for teens. That’s in addition to the continued fallout from whistleblower Frances Haugen’s allegations that parent company Meta knowingly pushes anger-inducing content. Updates like this theoretically show that Instagram wants to calm things down.
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