Ladies, Instagram Has New Tools To Filter Abusive DM Requests And Keep Abusers And Creeps At Bay

The ongoing healthcare crisis in our country has rendered most of us catatonic and grief-stricken. Know that even as I write this, I have to use every ounce of will power to get myself to focus, because it is too hard to get on with our lives while people around us are losing theirs or fighting for it. But amidst all this horror from a global pandemic, one horror that has fallen to worst lows is the sickening behaviour of some men. A woman seeking help for COVID resources let her phone number be publicised to make things easier. And along with help, she also got dick pics in her Instagram DM requests and obscene video calls from men.

Really, men? At a time like this, when a woman is fighting to save the life of a loved one, your first instinct is to get your horny on? COVID-19 pandemic might be brought under control with a vaccine, but what are we going to do with such disgusting creepiness in Indian men? Is there a vaccine for that?

It pretty much feels as if Instagram’s latest announcement then comes on cue. The social media photo-sharing platform is launching new tools that will help users filter abusive, hateful or obscene DM requests.


Also Read: Mumbai Woman Puts Up Her Number In Search Of Ventilator, Receives Unsolicited Messages And Dick Pics Instead.

In their latest blog post, titled ‘Introducing new tools to protect our community from abuse’, the platform talks about taking some steps towards eliminating “racist, sexist, homophobic, or any other kind of abuse” as much as possible. This comes in the light of several influencers and celebrity accounts also raising concerns about receiving abusive DMs when they make political commentaries or post about ongoing social movements like #BLM.

Instagram explained that since users’ DMs are private conversations, they don’t proactively look for any hate speech or bothersome comments on them. But since most abusive messages are filtered out and received in our DM requests, that’s where this tool while strike.

So how does this new tool from Instagram help filter abusive DM requests?

Instagram wrote on its blog. “We’ve worked with leading anti-discrimination and anti-bullying organizations to develop a predefined list of offensive terms that will be filtered from DM requests when the feature is turned on.”

The new Instagram tool pretty much works like the comments filter. When turned on, it will automatically filter out DM requests that contain a predefined list of offensive words, phrases or emojis into a separate ‘Hidden requests’ folder. In case you do choose to open the folder, the offensive words will also be blacked out so you’re not immediately accosted by them. In fact, you never have to see them at all, unless you want to, in which case, you can tap the redacted words to read them.

Furthermore, you can also create a custom-list of offensive, abusive words, phrases and emojis that you do not want sliding into your DM requests. The social media platform also assures users that using this feature will still protect your privacy and not send any message content back to their servers, unless you choose to report the message.

Also Read: Jameela Jamil Slams Beauty Filters On Instagram, Says It Prompts Teenagers To Get Cosmetic Surgeries

Blocked once, blocked forever

Say you’ve blocked someone on Instagram for whatever reason. One of the new features as part of its anti-harassment policies is that once you block them, you’ll have the option of preemptively blocking any other accounts that person might create in the future.

Women tend to face a huge brunt of online harassment and cyberbullying. There have been increasing calls for better policies and policing by social media platforms to prevent instances of harassment, discrimination and abuse, especially since it hampers activism and affects people’s mental health.

This seems like a good tool to help people, particularly women, to keep unwanted attention out of their DM requests.

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Jinal Bhatt

A Barbie girl with Oppenheimer humour. Sharp-tongue feminist and pop culture nerd with opinions on movies, shows, books, patriarchy, your boyfriend, everything.

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