Updates to How We Protect People on Instagram From Abuse


  • Now when you block someone on Instagram, you’ll have the option to block other accounts they may already have, making it more difficult for them to interact with you again on Instagram.
  • We’re improving the coverage of Hidden Words to introduce new languages, protect people from seeing scammy message requests and hide offensive Stories replies.
  • We’re also expanding our use of nudges to encourage more people to pause and reflect before they say something that could be hurtful in comments or message requests.

Making Blocking Better

We want to make it as hard as possible for someone you’ve blocked on Instagram to contact you again. Now when you block someone, you’ll also have the option to block other accounts they may have or create, making it more difficult for them to interact with you.

Last year, we updated how blocking works on Instagram to give you the ability to not only block a single account, but also any new accounts someone may create. This update allows you to also block existing accounts that person may already have. Based on initial test results from this new change, we expect that four million fewer accounts will need to be blocked every week since these accounts will now be blocked automatically.

The Instagram user interface for blocking someone.

New Updates to Hidden Words

Since launching Hidden Words last year, more than one in five people with more than 10,000 followers have turned on the feature, giving them a powerful tool to automatically filter harmful content from their comments and message requests. We’ve seen that Hidden Words has been effective at keeping people safe. When people with more than 10,000 followers turn on Hidden Words for comments, on average, they see 40% fewer comments that might be offensive.

We want to help more creators benefit from this protection, so we’re starting to test automatically turning on Hidden Words for Creator accounts. Everyone will continue to be able to turn these settings on or off at any time and build a custom list with additional words, phrases and emojis they may want to hide.

We’re also continuing to improve Hidden Words to offer more protections, including: 

  • Expanding the feature to cover Story replies, so offensive replies from people you don’t follow will be sent to your Hidden Requests folder and you never have to see them.
  • Supporting new languages including Farsi, Turkish, Russian, Bengali, Marathi, Telugu and Tamil.
  • Improving our filtering to spot and hide more intentional misspellings of offensive terms, for instance, if someone uses a “1” instead of an “i.” 
  • Adding new terms to filter message requests that might contain scams or spam. We’ll start doing this in English in certain countries, with more languages and countries coming soon.

The Instagram user interface for the Hidden Words feature.

Nudging People to Be Respectful in Comments and DMs

We’ve learned that there are cases where people mean well but may misjudge how their words could negatively impact others — especially when they’re interacting online.  

We’ve seen that nudges can reduce the amount of hurtful remarks on Instagram, which is why we’re introducing more of them. Now, a new notification will encourage people to pause and consider how they want to respond before replying to a comment that our systems tell us could be offensive. These nudges are live now for people whose apps are set to English, Portuguese, Spanish, French, Chinese or Arabic.

An image showing a nudge to be respectful on Instagram.

We’ve also started reminding people to be respectful in DMs when sending a message request to a creator. This nudge helps people remember that there’s a real person on the other side of their DM request, and encourages more respectful outreach to people they may not know. We’re rolling out this reminder globally in the coming weeks.

An image showing an Instagram notification to be respectful in DMs.

We’ll continue to work on more ways to protect people from abuse on Instagram, while encouraging supportive and respectful conversations.

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