Instagram has finally added another much-needed layer of protection from harassment to users’ inbox. This is via a new feature that lets users automatically filter DM requests containing obnoxious words, phrases or emojis.
The idea is that you will now get to prevent strangers from sending you hateful messages. Pings from people you don’t know are already filtered into a separate inbox, so this takes things one step further.
According to Instagram, users will have the option to “turn both comment and DM request filters on and off in a new dedicated section of your Privacy Settings called Hidden Words.” This feature will work via a list of predefined words, as well as those you add to the list.
“This new feature is designed to help protect you from potentially offensive or abusive DM requests, while also respecting your privacy. All message filtering will take place on your own device, which means this feature won’t send any message content back to our servers. Using this feature doesn’t share the content of your DM requests with us unless you report them,” read Instagram’s statement.
“We’ll start rolling out this feature in several countries in the coming weeks and will look to expand to more countries over the next few months.”
As part of the announcement today, Instagram also said it is rolling out a tool to allow people to preemptively block new accounts from harassers. Now, when a user blocks someone in the app, they’ll have the option of blocking any new accounts that person creates. The company declined to specify how it does this, saying only that it uses a “variety of signals” to detect new accounts from those same users.