Instagram’s new anti-abuse features include DM ‘kindness reminders’

Instagram is expanding its efforts to combat abuse, and that includes the not-so-subtle encouragement to stay civil. The company is rolling out “Kindness Reminders” DM, which prompts you to “keep Instagram as a supporting place” when you message a creator. This probably won’t deter dedicated trolls when it arrives in “the coming weeks,” but the social network is clearly hoping it will give people a break who would otherwise hurl insults in a fit of rage. You’ll see similar prompts when replying to potentially offensive comments.

Filters should also be more useful. Instagram is testing an approach that enables hidden words comments and DM filters by default for creator accounts. You wouldn’t need to turn it on to keep toxic language out of discussions. All users can now use Hidden Words to review story replies (they are located in the Hidden Requests folder) and the company will soon start filtering English DM requests with scams and spam.

You may also find it easier to block elusive abusers. In addition to the existing ability to automatically suspend new accounts that someone creates, you can now automatically suspend accounts that users already have. A harasser can’t just switch to another account to make your life miserable.

The additions come as Instagram faces pressure from the Senate, UK regulators and others to curb abuse and privacy breaches, particularly for teenagers. This comes on top of the ongoing fallout from whistleblower Frances Haugen’s claims that parent company Meta knowingly distributes annoying content. Updates like this theoretically indicate that Instagram wants to calm things down.

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