Instagram announced the implementation of a filter to separate private messages (the DMs) with abusive content and sent from contacts who are not your friends. The protection layer will take into account specific words, emojis and other aspects of the text that can even be customized by the profile owner with new terms.
Private messages on Instagram, now integrated with Facebook Messenger in Brazil, are especially useful to chat directly with some people within the social network in a private way, without spreading the conversation to everyone in the comments field of the photos and videos published. At the same time, this privacy protection roof can serve as a perfect hiding place for direct attacks.
Instagram already has a separation between contacts and people you are not friends with, leaving messages from strangers in a corner called “Contact Requests”. As of this week, the social network of photos and videos will implement an extra layer of protection right there, with the help of a previous list of words, emojis and whole sentences that will make an attempt at abusive conversation less visible.
All chats containing any of the filtered content will be on a second layer of hidden messages, accessible and visible only when the user is already on the “Contact Requests” page. Within this new location only the names of the accounts appear with words, phrases and emojis identified, but which can still be viewed when the owner of the profile touches the chat – which has a warning that the text has been separated, also protecting it from reading accidental.
Once the message is opened, the user will receive the same controls he always had for a contact request: accept the chat and transfer it to the DMs main page, delete the contact or report the account.
“We work with leading organizations to combat discrimination and intimidation to develop a predefined list of offensive terms that will be filtered out of DM requests when the feature is enabled,” comments Instagram. As each person has a different experience than the other, the social network will also allow the insertion of new words, phrases and emojis within this list to filter all messages.
This new filter does not alter Instagram’s internal tool to work with all texts published in open comments on posts, combating attacks such as hate speech. The penalties for sending these offensives by direct messages also continue to work as before.
The new filter for words, phrases and emojis within direct messages is coming to all Instagram users starting this week for an undisclosed group of countries, with expansion to other locations in the coming months.
Instagram will further protect its users
In addition to the filter with words, phrases and emojis capable of hiding abusive content, Instagram also announced the possibility of keeping a blocked account out of the user’s eyes for longer. The novelty prevents a blocked person from creating a new profile within the social network and trying to contact again.
Even with the change, it is the user who chooses whether to prefer to block only the account or all other profiles that can be created by the same person.
Finally, the message filter to hide public comments on photos and videos published on Instagram will also select any similar content, but that was typed with some error. This step is important so that abusive content does not circumvent the profile protections by deliberately changing one or the other letter of an offensive phrase.
With information: Instagram.