Just days after a Premier League footballer revealed he was racially harassed on the platform, Instagram has announced a new safety tool that will allow high-profile personalities to fend off abuse.
forward Ivan Tony He received racist and abusive messages after his 100th game at Brentford last weekend.
The 26-year-old man was Twitterwrote: “I wasn’t even going to post this, but I woke up pissed…”
After the incident, Instagrams parent company Yuan Said they had contacted Toney for support and arranged for a briefing about its security features.
New protections announced Thursday include blocking multiple accounts owned by the same person, a notification reminding people to respect others before commenting on a post, and an expanded hidden word tool for users with Creator accounts.
Hidden words were introduced to the app last year, and when turned on, automatically filter comments and message requests for harmful content. Instagram will now automatically open the tool for Creator accounts.
The feature will be expanded to cover story replies so that offensive replies from accounts the user doesn’t follow will be sent to the hidden requests folder.
Filtering tools will also be improved to identify and hide more offensive terms that are intentionally misspelled – for example, when an “I” is replaced with a “1”.
The platform will also send notifications to users who reply to offensive comments, preventing them from engaging in heated discussions.
“We will continue to work hard to find more ways to protect people from abuse on Instagram while encouraging supportive and respectful conversations,” the social media giant said in a blog post about the announcement.
The company says the nudge feature is already enabled for users whose apps are set to English, Portuguese, Spanish, French, Chinese or Arabic, and will roll out globally in the coming weeks.
Instagram added: “This nudge helps people remember that there is a real person on the other side of their DM request and encourages them to more respectfully reach out to people they may not know.”