Instagram has announced new features that are intended to reduce abusive messages during ‘sudden spikes’.
The new ‘limits’ feature will automatically restrict comments and messages from individuals who do not follow, or have just followed users who have the setting switched on. Instagram has said that the feature was designed to stop abuse from groups of people ‘who simply pile on in the moment’, citing the racist abuse that followed the men’s Euro 2020 final as an example.
The racist abuse that was levelled against black English players after the nation’s loss to Italy resulted in several arrests being made, in addition to social media companies being called upon to do more to tackle such abuse.
Instagram has said that the new features were designed to protect people from a ‘sudden rush’ of negative attention. Rather than disabling all comments and messages, the new feature will allow anyone to effectively mute users who have not been ‘long-standing followers’. The setting can be switched on or off at any time.
Furthermore, the social media platform has ‘expanded’ the blocklist of words, hashtags and emojis that are automatically blocked to filter out abusive messages or comments; the list can also be customised by users. Additionally, it has strengthened the language of pop-ups that appear when users attempt to post a ‘potentially offensive comment’ that will warn that their account could be deleted for repeat offences.
To see Instagram’s announcement of the new ‘limits’ feature in full, click here.