LOOK: Instagram can now filter abusive messages

Published April 27, 2021, 7:20 PM

by Jane Kingsu-Cheng

The internet is vast, and we really can’t avoid bumping into people who might have ill thoughts or motives toward you—even reaching the point of harassment or bullying.

Instagram has been tweaking their features based on users’ feedbacks, and they just recently rolled out a new feature. “We understand the impact that abusive content —whether it’s racist, sexist, homophobic, or any other kind of abuse —can have on people. Nobody should have to experience that on Instagram. But combatting abuse is a complex challenge and there isn’t one single step we can take to eliminate it completely,” released on the Instagram website.

You can now filter DM requests that includes offensive words, phrases, and emojis. The reason why they focused on DM requests is that this is where “strangers” send abusive messages. “It will work in a similar way to the comment filters we already offer,

Instagram abusive messages
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,” adds the social media app.

Now, you might not be able to come up with a list of offensive words right away, so Instagram took the liberty of coming up with a list of terms that might be offensive, in collaboration with leading anti-discrimination and anti-bullying organisations. But you also have the option to add some more, of course.

Instagram abusive messages

What happens to the messages that contain these offensive words? They are placed in a a separate hidden requests folder which you may opt to view whenever you want. Offensive words will be covered unless tapped to uncover. “We’ll start rolling out this feature in several countries in the coming weeks and will look to expand to more countries over the next few months.”

Instagram has also included wrong spelling of offensive words in their filter list, since there are some who might have spelled them by mistake, in a hurry, or even intentionally so as not to be muted.

“We know there’s still more we can do, and we’re committed to continuing our fight against bullying and online abuse. We’ll keep working in partnership with experts, industry organizations, teens, creators, and public figures to understand their experience on Instagram and how we can evolve our policies and products to protect them from online abuse,” ends the statement.