Instagram has launched a new feature that will turn on an abusive message filter for direct messages.
The company already launched a similar filter for the comment section, blocking offensive comments and allowing users to select the terms they want filtered out of the comments under their posts.
“We’re announcing a new way to protect people from seeing abusive DMs in the first place, as well as the ability to prevent someone you’ve blocked from contacting you from a new account,” reads a blog post from Instagram.
“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.”
The Facebook-owned platform says that it will take more effort to curb abuse and that no one step can actually put an end to it.
“For example, we know that many in our community, particularly people with larger followings, have faced abuse in their DM request inbox from people they don’t follow.”
The filter is optional, allowing users to turn it on in the DM. Instagram says it had not initiated a response for abuse in the DMs, as they are private conversations between users. However, the new tool will now filter messages containing abusive texts, emojis or phrases.
“This tool focuses on DM requests because this is where people usually receive abusive messages – unlike your regular DM inbox, where you receive messages from friends.”
The option to toggle the feature is available in a new privacy settings feature called Hidden Words. The feature will be rolled out to afew countries in a few weeks and globally in the coming months.