While Instagram seems to be less toxic than its parent platform Facebook, there is still a lot of abusive behavior from commenters, especially towards personalities. Even “ordinary” users can get their share of offensive comments and messages for one reason or another. So the platform is continually adding tools and features to help protect its users from online abuse on the platform. This time around they’re bringing Limits, stronger warnings to people posting comments, and the global rollout of the Hidden Words feature.
There are times when public figures and creators may expect a deluge of comments and message requests. And as with everything on the Internet, not all of them are kind. Instagram is now introducing a new feature called Limits that will automatically hide comments and DM requests from accounts that don’t follow you or who have only just recently followed you. Sometimes the spike of comments and messages are good ones but can be overwhelming. And there are also times when these can be unwanted and abusive.
This option to limit what you’re using can be helpful for your mental health and for managing your Instagram account in general, both for public figures and private individuals. You can turn it on or off from the privacy settings whenever you want. They’re also exploring ways that users can detect if they’re experiencing a sudden increase in comments and DMs so as to prompt you to turn on Limits if you want to.
Instagram already shows users a warning if what they’re trying to comment is potentially offensive. Now they will show an even stronger warning for those who continually do so, including reminders for the Community Guidelines of the platform. They said that this has been effective in making people think twice before they post that possibly offensive or abusive comment. It technically won’t stop people from publishing the comment but it can make them stop and edit it or decide not to post eventually.
Lastly, the Hidden Words feature is rolling out globally by the end of the month. It lets users automatically filter offensive words, phrases and emojis from your DMs and puts them in a Hidden Folder. It is also able to filter out spammy DMs. They have also expanded their list of potentially offensive words, hashtags, and emojis. There’s also a new opt-in option to “Hide More Comments” that may not violate community guidelines but can be potentially harmful.