Instagram Users Can Now Filter Abusive Messages and Avoid Unwanted Contact


Internet is a wild, wild place, and there is no way to overlook that. To make the user experience a bit safer, Instagram has announced several new features that will essentially help the users avoid abusive messages and unwanted contact with other people on the platform.

These new features join Instagram's effort to compact abuse and hate speech, including some strict penalties for people who are sending abusive messages using Instagram's Direct Messaging service.

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The latest features are there to tackle abuse and hate speech, and this also includes a new tool that will automatically filter DM requests that contain offensive words and phrases and emojis. According to the latest blog post on this matter, the tool will work similarly to the comment filter tool that Instagram already has in place. You can enable this new tool by heading over to the Privacy Settings in Instagram and then tapping on the Hidden Words option.


Once the feature is enabled, Instagram will start filtering the DM requests that contain a word or phrase from a predefined list of offensive terms. You will also get the option to create your own custom list of words, phrases, as well as emojis that you would rather not see in your DM requests. All the filtered messages will be appearing in a new hidden requests folder.

If you choose to open the hidden requests folder, the text message will be obscured so that you are not getting the chance to look at the offensive language until you permit it. Users will also get the option to accept, delete, or report message requests in the folder. Instagram has reassured that all the message filtering will be taking place on the device alone; this means that the feature will not send any message content back to the company's servers. The new DM content filtering features will start rolling out in several countries in the coming weeks, and a broader rollout will be launching in a couple of months.

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Instagram will also start making it harder for people you have already blocked from contacting you again using a new account. For this purpose, Instagram will add a new option in the block menu that will allow you to preemptively block new accounts that the person could create in the future. The new option is going to start being available to users around the world in the coming weeks.

Moving further, the company is working on improving all the existing features put in place to combat abuse and hate speech on the platform. The service now gives users with public accounts an option to only allow comments from people they follow and/or their followers. Additionally, Instagram has started proactively hiding the common misspelling of offensive words from your manual filter list.

Instagram has also announced how they are working on a host of new features, including end-to-end encryption in chats and more.