Instagram is rolling out a new tool to automatically filter out abusive DMs

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Instagram announced a new tool today that will allow users to automatically filter out direct message requests containing offensive words, phrases, and emojis. The tool is targeted at celebrities and public figures who receive a large number of unwanted, harmful DMs.

The update builds on Instagram’s work to combat hate speech on the platform. In February, the company said it would begin disabling the accounts of users who sent multiple harassing messages. In 2018, the company expanded its offensive comments filter to automatically block comments that attack a person’s appearance or character.

The message requests filter can be toggled on or off in a new section of the app called “hidden words.” When it’s on, offensive messages will be…

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