Instagram will show suspected hate speech lower in your feed

The platform announced its new changes in a blog post on Thursday

Instagram users who report posts will have their feeds affected by what they report. Photo: Instagram
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Instagram is planning to implement new measures that will proactively limit the reach of posts and stories that are “likely” to violate its rules around hate speech, bullying and the incitement of violence.

In a blog post on Thursday, Instagram explained that they would be making changes to how the post or stories would be shown on newsfeeds.

“Previously, we’ve focused on showing posts lower on Feed and Stories if they contain misinformation as identified by independent fact-checkers, or if they are shared from accounts that have repeatedly shared misinformation in the past,” the platform said.

“Today, we’re announcing some changes to take this effort even further. If our systems detect that a post may contain bullying, hate speech or may incite violence, we’ll show it lower on Feeds and Stories of that person’s followers.”

The post goes on to explain that to see if something is likely to break those rules, Instagram will be looking at things such as if a caption is similar to a caption that previously broke its rules.

The platform also said that how things were reported would also reflect on a user’s feed. By liking, commenting and saving a post, this would be reflected with similar content showing up higher in a feed.

However for things reported, this would have the opposite effect. “If our systems predict you’re likely to report a post based on your history of reporting content, we will show the post lower in your Feed,” they said.

Instagram's paid subscriptions

This comes on the back of the news that the platform is testing out paid subscriptions.

Meta, Instagram's parent company, announced it is trialling Subscriptions, a feature that allows users to offer paid followers access to exclusive content. Already available on Facebook, select Instagram creators in the US were chosen to use the feature, but the company says it has plans to expand access to more users "over the next few months".

Instagram is rolling out a Subscriptions feature, initially available to select creators. Photo: Instagram

"With Instagram Subscriptions, creators can develop deeper connections with their most engaged followers and grow their recurring monthly income by giving subscribers access to exclusive content and benefits, all within the same platform where they interact with them already," Instagram said in a blog post on Wednesday.

The feature includes Subscriber Lives, which allows creators to broadcast exclusive Lives to their subscribers; Subscriber Stories, where creators can create stories only for their subscribers; and Subscriber Badges, which lets creators see a subscriber badge next to comments and messages so they can easily identify their subscribers.

Updated: January 22, 2022, 12:42 PM