Instagram Will (Finally) Start Permanently Banning Accounts Who Harass & Bully Via Direct Messages
Today Instagram has announced it will (finally), start “cracking down” on users who take to bullying and harassing people via direct messages on the app. Violators of this “new” policy will be permanently banned via the account (and related linked info) used for the harassment of others. This long-overdue change has finally arrived after multiple football, (Soccer), players in the UK reported receiving racists attacks through Instagram.
While the social media giant already has sanctions and rules in place for abusive comments, it seems the rules fell into a “grey area” when applied to the direct messages of its users.
We want Instagram to be a place for people to connect with the people and things they love. But we also know that, just like in the offline world, there will always be those who abuse others. We’ve seen it most recently with racist online abuse targeted at footballers in the UK. We don’t want this behavior on Instagram.
The abuse we’re seeing is happening a lot in people’s Direct Messages (DMs), which is harder to address than comments on Instagram. Because DMs are for private conversations, we don’t use technology to proactively detect content like hate speech or bullying the same way we do in other places. But there are still more steps we can take to help prevent this type of behavior. So today we’re announcing some new measures, including removing the accounts of people who send abusive messages, and developing new controls to help reduce the abuse people see in their DMs.
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According to the blog post from Instagram, previously if someone sends you a harassing message via a direct message, IG would prevent that person from sending you any more messages for a “set period of time.” Now, with this new policy in place, if the abuse continues, the platform will disable and ban the bully’s account entirely, including preventing them from creating new accounts with the phone number/email information provided. It’s unclear if this will also link to the physical devices/IMEI information, but that would be another positive step if they do, since it’s pretty easy to create a new “fake” email and create multiple accounts.
Another nice new feature being rolled out for non-business accounts is the ability to turn off DM’s from users/accounts you do not follow. This is already available for business/creator accounts, but soon this should be a feature available to everyone on the platform, regardless of account status.
To learn about all the new policies and updates, be sure to visit the official blog post from Instagram here.