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How to filter abusive comments and direct messages on Instagram

how-to-filter-abusive-comments-and-direct-messages-on-instagram

You shouldn't just have to deal with abuse on Instagram — and now you can filter it out.Our Instagram pages should be safe spaces where we are free to express ourselves without fearing abuse and harassment.

But as recent events in the football world have shown us, there is still more to be done when it comes to stemming the flow of online abuse.

If you’d like to keep your Instagram as safe a place as you can for yourself, there are some tools you can set up to prevent abusive content from ever reaching you, whether it’s a comment featuring a racist emoji, or harassing messages from people you don’t follow.

Yes, you can always report comments on Instagram, but the below strategies are meant to filter abuse before you even have to see it. Here’s how…

Turn off DMs from people you don’t follow

Firstly, all Instagram accounts have the option to switch off direct messages from people they don’t follow.

  • To change your messaging settings, go to your settings, select “privacy” and then “messages.”

  • First, select “your followers on Instagram” and select “don’t receive requests.”

  • Then click on “others on Instagram” and select “don’t receive requests” to make sure people who don’t follow you are not able to DM you.

Credit: mashable screenshot

Credit: mashable screenshot

Filter out abusive messages and comments

In April, Instagram rolled out a new feature that enabled users to filter out abusive messages and comments that contain offensive words, phrases or emoji.

To turn on the filters, you can go to a section of your privacy settings called “Hidden Words.”

Credit: mashable screenshot

Credit: mashable screenshot

Here you’ll see a section titled “manage custom word list.” You’ll be able to add emoji, words, phrases that you find offensive and they’ll be prevented from ever appearing in your DM requests or your comments. You can keep adding to the list if needs be. And even when those words are misspelled, they’ll typically be prevented from showing up in your messages and comments.

Make sure you have “hide comments” and “hide message requests” toggled in your settings.

Block profiles and any duplicate accounts

If you’re being harassed by a specific individual, you can now block that profile as well as preemptively blocking any new accounts that person may create.

So now, when you go to block someone, you can select both their account and any new accounts they might make, just to be extra sure you’ll never hear from them again.

Limit or turn off comments

If your profile is being targeted and you’re receiving a deluge of comments that aren’t able to be filtered out by the other settings — you can temporarily disable comments on all posts, or just certain posts.

In your privacy settings, select “comments” then “allow comments from.” You’ll see four options allowing you to receive comments from everyone, people you follow and your followers, people you follow, and just your followers. Select which option is best for you.

Credit: mashable screenshot

Credit: mashable screenshot

If it’s just one post in particular you’d like to limit comments on, click on the three dots on the top right corner of that post and select “turn off commenting.”

No one should have to receive abusive messages and comments. For a full list of Instagram’s safety features, visit their guide for creators.

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