American social networking service Instagram has announced that it will introduce a new tool that will filter out certain words, phrases and emoji’s from direct message (DM) in view to clamp down on online abuse.
As per details, Facebook-owned photo and video sharing app had faced a lot of backlash over cybersecurity from celebrities and public figures. However, the company decided to roll out a new feature that will automatically filter abusive DMs for users.
In an effort to combat hate speech the message requests feature can be turned on or off by the users in a new section of the app titled ‘hidden words’ and if the feature is enabled, offensive messages will be pushed to a separate folder.
From, there the pushed messages stored in that folder will be concealed, allowing users to browse messages without reading what they say which means if a user taps into a message, he/she will be able to read, delete, or report it further.
According to an official statement given by Instagram, it had worked with leading anti-discrimination and anti-bullying organisations to come up with a preset list of offensive phrases.
The social media giant further stated that it has compiled a predefined list of offensive words that might appear in DM requests and users will also be able to customized list of words, phrases or emojis.
The company also revealed that the new feature will roll out to several countries in the coming weeks, although it did not disclosed the name of those countries. However, the video sharing service plans to expand to more countries in the next few months.
Earlier in February, the app indicated that the problem of abusive messages was particularly among British soccer players, many of whom are Black and have often been inundated by racist and threatening messages.
Some prominent Black UK footballers, including Marcus Rashford, Axel Tuanzebe, Jude Bellingham, Romaine Sawyers, Reece James, have received racist messages on Instagram earlier.
Moreover, a white soccer referee, Mike Dean, and his family received death threats on Instagram and other social media accounts.