Instagram launched a tool meant to protect users from getting abusive messages in their direct messages. The tool, when switched on, automatically filters direct messages (DM) from requests containing offensive words, phrases and emojis.
The tool focuses on DM requests, because this is where people usually receive abusive messages – unlike the regular DM inbox with messages from friends, the company said.
“It will work in a similar way to the comment filters we already offer, which allow you to hide offensive comments and choose what terms you don’t want people to use in comments under your posts. You can turn both comment and DM request filters on and off in a new dedicated section of your Privacy Settings called Hidden Words.”
Instagram said the company has worked with anti-discrimination and anti-bullying organizations to develop a predefined list of offensive terms that will be used to filter messages. Users will also be able to add words, phrases or emojis they specially want to be excluded.
Messages including abusive words and phrases will automatically be moved to a separate hidden requests folder. If users choose to open the folder, the message text will be covered so users will not see the offensive content.