Instagram launches new safety tools aimed at public figures

Instagram launches safety tools aimed at public figures: App will now hide offensive replies to Stories – days after footballer Ivan Toney revealed he was racially abused on the platform

  • On Saturday, Ivan Toney revealed he had been racially abused on Instagram
  • Now, Instagram has announced new safety measures to protect public figures
  • Offensive replies to Stories will now be automatically hidden
  • Users will also see ‘kindness reminders’ when the try to message a creator 

Instagram has announced safety feature updates it says will help public figures and other high-profile users better protect themselves from abuse. 

This includes automatically hiding offensive replies to Stories, and kindness reminders in direct messages.

The update comes just days after another Premier League footballer – Ivan Toney – revealed he had been racially abused on the platform.

Instagram has announced safety feature updates it says will help public figures and other high-profile users better protect themselves from abuse

The police have opened an investigation into racist abuse sent to Ivan Toney on Instagram

New features

Improvements to Blocking: Now when you block someone, you’ll also be able to block other accounts they may have or create at the same time.

Updates to Hidden Words: This will now be on by default for creator accounts, and is being expanded to cover Story replies.

Kindness Reminders: When someone tries to send a DM to a creator, they’ll see a message at the bottom of the chat reminding them to be kind.

Comment reply nudges: Instagram will start showing a notification to people who go to reply to a potentially offensive comment.

Brentford striker Ivan Toney took to Twitter on Saturday to reveal he had been sent racist abuse on Instagram after scoring twice in a match against Brighton last Friday night. 

He posted a screenshot of the message, writing: ‘I wasn’t even going to post this but I woke up angry.’

This is the latest in a string of incidents where footballers and other sportspeople have been targeted online.

At the time, Instagram’s parent firm Meta was criticised for not doing more to prevent such abuse. 

But the company said because the incident had occurred in Direct Messages (DMs), a private space in the app, it could not take action until it was reported in-app.

The company also highlighted its Hidden Words feature, which filters out offensive comments and direct messages so users do not see them. 

This tool is among those to have been strengthened by the tech giant.

Now, Instagram said Hidden Words was being expanded to also cover replies to stories and will automatically hide offensive replies to story posts.

In addition, the tool’s filtering has been improved to spot intentional misspellings of offensive or abusive terms.

The company confirmed it was testing turning on the Hidden Words tool by default for creator accounts – which are generally used by high-profile figures on the site.

The social media giant said it was also making upgrades to its blocking tools so that when a user blocks someone, they will be able to block other accounts they may have or create at the same time, making it harder for that user to contact them again.

‘We’ll continue to work on more ways to protect people from abuse on Instagram while encouraging supportive and respectful conversations,’ the company said in a blog post on the announcements.

Elsewhere in the update, Instagram said it would show people kindness reminders when they send a DM request to a creator account, urging them to be kind and keep Instagram a supportive place.

In an expansion to existing warnings around offensive comments, Instagram said it would start showing notifications to people when they go to reply to an offensive comment on someone else’s account which will warm them to rethink before piling into a heated conversation.

Instagram launches crackdown on fake accounts with new feature giving users more information

Instagram has launched a crackdown on fake accounts, introducing a new feature showing users information about who is really behind a username.

The Photo-sharing app’ more than 1 billion users will now be able to evaluate the authenticity of accounts, weeks after parent Facebook rolled out similar measures in a bid to weed out fake accounts on its social media platform.

The ‘About This Account’ feature will allow users to see the advertisements an account is running, the country where the account is located, username changes in the past year as well as other details.

To learn more about an account, go to their Profile, tap the … menu and then select ‘About This Account.’ 

There, you will see the date the account joined Instagram, the country where the account is located, accounts with shared followers, any username changes in the last year and any ads the account is currently running. 

Instagram also plans to significantly boost the number of verified accounts for public figures, celebrities, and global brands. 

Along with the account username, applicants will need to provide full real names and a copy of legal or business identification.

Instagram also said it will allow the use of third-party apps such as DUO Mobile and Google Authenticator for two-factor authentication to help users securely log in to their accounts.

Source: Read Full Article