Instagram working on feature to shield users from lewd DMs: Report

Published on Sep 25, 2022 01:28 PM IST

The ‘Nudity Protection’ feature will restrict cyberflashing incidents which contain sending uninvited sexual messages to strangers - often women.

Instagram have recently developed many features to enhance safety of its users.(Photo by Claudio Schwarz on Unsplash)
Instagram have recently developed many features to enhance safety of its users.(Photo by Claudio Schwarz on Unsplash)
By | Edited by Aryan Prakash

Instagram is working on a new safety feature that will protect its user against sexually explicit photos delivered in their inbox. The ‘Nudity Protection’ feature, as reported by The Verge, will try to filter out ‘cyberflashing’ incidents of harassing people online.

The cyber-flashing incidents which involve sending uninvited sexual messages to strangers - often women - have increased a lot in recent days. This new feature will try to address this menace by strengthening users to automatically filter direct message requests comprising offensive content. The report says Meta is going to use machine learning to support people to shield themselves from nude photos and other undesirable messages.

An early look at the new feature was also posted on Twitter by Meta developer Alessandro Pauzzi. In a tweet, he shared the screenshot of the possible feature and wrote, “Instagram is working on nudity protection for chats. This technology covers photos that may contain nudity in chats. Instagram CAN’T access photos.”

Confirming this, a Meta spokesperson told The Verge they are working closely with experts to assure these new features maintain people’s privacy while also providing them control over the communication they receive. The technology won’t let Meta view the actual messages or share them with third parties, the spokesperson mentioned.

Meta added the feature is still in its development phase and once rolled out, it will have the option to enable and disable as per choice of the user.

Recently, the Meta owned messaging platform came up with controls for parents of underage users of its social media platform in India. Now, this feature is seen as the next step to fortify the privacy and safety of the users.

This feature will be besides the already existing Hidden Words feature introduced back in 2021. With the Hidden Words function, users can automatically filter objectionable words, phrases, and emoticons into a protected folder. This tool even screens out DM requests that are probably spammy.

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