Instagram has rolled out a slew of new features aimed at preventing online abuse.
The key updates include the global launch of Limits, a design feature that automatically hides comments and DM requests from strangers and new followers. This feature is aimed at quelling the slew of abusive comments public figures often experience.
Another new feature, which launched in several countries earlier this year, is called Hidden Words. An opt-in feature, Hidden Words filters abusive DM requests into a secret folder so users never have to read them or see them. Instagram will also include stronger warnings for users who attempt to post offensive comments, a move that the company claims has been effective in discouraging people from posting something cruel.
The updates come as the platform experiences a rise in racist attacks following the Euro 2020 final, which saw multiple England footballers experience racist abuse by angry fans disappointed by England’s defeat. The incidents exposed how little users can actually do to prevent and protect themselves from these types of attacks.
“Racism is not acceptable and has no place on Instagram,” Instagram head Adam Mosseri shared in a video following the controversy. “It is important to us that everyone feels safe and comfortable on our platform. We’re getting better at identifying and removing hate speech and racism, but we do make mistakes and we need to do more. We are constantly working to do more and are also providing people with the tools needed to take power back when they’re the targets of harassment.”