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Instagram recently announced they are testing the use of a new anti-harassment tool Limits. Limits recommends users filter comments and DMs from certain groups of accounts that may send hateful messages. This feature is like the Instagram feature Restrict, which allows users to review comments before they are published and read DMs without sending read receipts. However, Restrict manages harassment from individuals while Limits controls unwanted messages from abusive groups of people.
The need for a feature to limit hateful comments on Instagram became apparent following the Euro 2020 final. After England’s defeat, angry fans barraged football players Bukayo Saka, Marcus Rashford, and Jadon Sancho with racist comments. A feature like Limits would have allowed these players to filter out a wave of bigoted responses from fans. At the time, Instagram was using technology that prioritized user reports, accidentally labeling some of these reports as harmless instead of sending them to human moderators. This glitch in the system proves just how essential a tool like Limits is to protect individuals from online vitriol.
Instagram head, Adam Mosseri, recently explained Limits’ real-world applications. Mosseri remarked “Maybe you’re in high school and you are going through a breakup, or you just switched schools. Or maybe you are a professional footballer and you’re receiving a lot of harassment. Whatever it is, we know that people sometimes are in temporary moments of real risk of pain, and we want to give them tools to protect themselves in those situations.”
Instagram has not yet announced when Limits will be available. However, with Limits trial runs in select countries, there’s hope that a more harassment-free Instagram is on the horizon.
What do you think of Instagrams’s new Limits anti-harassment feature> Let us know down in the comments.
This article originally published on GREY Journal.