Haters may hate, hate, hate, but Instagram is making it so you no longer have to bear witness to those negative comments. The photo-sharing app, which has more than 500 million users, announced a new keyword moderation tool that allows users to block words they find offensive or inappropriate. Comments containing those words, which can be entered specifically by the user or from a default list provided by Instagram, will no longer appear on their posts.
“All different types of people—from diverse backgrounds, races, genders, sexual orientations, abilities and more—call Instagram home, but sometimes the comments on their posts can be unkind,” CEO and co-founder Kevin Systrom wrote in a September 22 blog post. “To empower each individual, we need to promote a culture where everyone feels safe to be themselves without criticism or harassment.”
The moderation tool is one of many changes that have recently taken place on the app. Systrom’s statement said that it is only the “first feature” for dealing with online abusers, suggesting that more tools will be coming in the future to the app that already allows users to delete comments, report inappropriate comments, and block accounts.
To take advantage of the new feature, make sure you have updated to the most recent version of the app and follow the steps below:
- Go to your Profile tab.
- Tap the gear icon in the top right corner.
- Under “Settings,” select “Comments.”
- Slide the “Hide Inappropriate Comments” toggle to the right to automatically hide keywords that Instagram has identified as “often reported as inappropriate.”
- If desired, add your own custom keywords in the text box, separated by commas.
- Click “Done” to save your changes.