Instagram’s efforts to block hateful or abusive DM requests will soon be taken another step further. In Instagram’s latest blog post, the app outlines how it will further prevent people from even seeing hateful or abusive DMs in the first place.
As Instagram explains, most hateful or unwanted messages come from DM requests. These are direct messages from users that have never messaged you before and/or that you may not even follow. Instagram will begin filtering a list of keywords and emojis that was developed in collaboration with leading anti-discrimination and anti-bullying organizations.
DM requests will be filtered if they contain any of these emojis or phrases, or any emojis or words that you specify. Options for this feature will be found in a new section of the Privacy Settings called “Hidden Words”. Any filtered DM requests will appear in a separate hidden requests folder and the message text will be covered so you can’t read it until you tap on the message. From there, you’ll be able to accept the request, delete it, or report it.
Instagram has also made it harder for a blocked user to try to contact you. If you block a user, you’ll have the option to also block any new accounts that the user creates in efforts to contact you again. It’s not explained exactly how Instagram will know that the same user is creating a new account, but the extra effort needed may dissuade a blocked user from making further attempts.
This new DM request filter is rolling out to several countries in the coming weeks and will expand to more countries over the next few months. Meanwhile, the new account blocking feature will be available globally in the next few weeks.