Instagram launches new filter to block unwanted direct messages

Instagram continues its fight against unwanted interactions and cyberstalking. The social network has just announced the imminent implementation of a new filter intended to fight against inappropriate messages in requests for Direct messages. This filter, “Hidden words”, embeds by default a few dozen words and expressions which will be automatically blocked by the platform in requests for direct messages. However, the user has the possibility of personalizing this list by adding the terms of his choice. As soon as an offensive word, phrase or emoji reported by the user in the “Hidden Words” tool is detected in a direct message request, Instagram blocks it and automatically places it in a hidden directory.

The user can however choose if he wishes to access it and consult the retoked messages. This new feature, similar to the one already in place for comments, allows users to define a list of terms that they consider offensive and that they do not want to arrive in their inbox. The option is being rolled out from today in seven countries including France and will be rolled out more widely in the coming weeks.

This filtering is done directly on the user’s smartphone and could also be deployed within other messaging apps flat to Facebook, like Messenger and WhatsApp, an Instagram spokesperson told AFP.

An option to block the forcers

In addition, Instagram has just announced the upcoming implementation of a new measure aimed at combating cyberstalking. Instagram wants to prevent stranded troublemakers from recontacting their victims through another account.

So when a user decides to block an unwanted account, they will soon be offered an option to block all other accounts that may be managed by the same person.

In recent times, Instagram has stepped up efforts in its fight against online harassment, a crucial problem even as the social network hopes to soon offer a version of Instagram aimed at children and young adolescents.

Sources: Instagram, AFP

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