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Instagram’s expanded blocking lets you block a person’s backup accounts

Instagram has announced a number of new safety feature updates to its photo and video sharing app, including an expansion of its existing blocking feature.

On Thursday, Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri tweeted a video in which he introduced the new safety updates to IG. Of the three new “updated safety tools” Mosseri announced, the expansion of IG’s blocking feature was particularly notable.

Updated Safety Tools 🙏🏼

Today, we’re announcing new ways for creators to stay safe on Instagram:

– New Nudges
– Updated Blocking
– Hidden Words Improvements

— Adam Mosseri (@mosseri) October 20, 2022

In situations where a particular user proves to be difficult to block on social media (because they keep popping back up via backup accounts), it can be tiring to have to keep blocking that person and their multiple accounts. Instagram began addressing this problem last year when it announced that it would allow users to block a person and any other accounts they may create in the future. And now, Instagram has decided to further extend this feature to now include blocking any existing backup accounts a person may already have. So, now users will have the option to block a person and “other accounts they may have or create,” according to Instagram’s screenshot of the newly expanded feature (see below).

Two mobile screenshots Instagram's expanded blocking feature.

Instagram’s blog post announcement regarding its newly updated safety tools noted that it expects the updated blocking feature will result in users having to block “4 million fewer accounts every week, since these accounts will now be blocked automatically.”

Instagram also mentioned two other changes to its other safety features: Hidden Words and nudges. Both of these features have existed in the past but IG will now be expanding them as well. Hidden Words is a feature on Instagram that users can utilize to hide comments or message requests that contain words that may be offensive. Instagram is now testing automatically enabling this feature for its Creator accounts and adding a number of features to it:

  • Adding support for more languages such as Farsi, Bengali, and Tamil.
  • Filtering out more offensive words, particularly ones with “intentional misspellings.”
  • Hidden Words will also cover Story replies, especially from people a user doesn’t follow
  • Adding more terms to filter out spammy message requests (will be available “in English in certain countries” at first, but will be expanded to more languages/countries later).

Instagram’s nudges feature will also see changes. In particular, IG is adding new nudges (a notification that usually pops up to encourage users to pause and think about the action they’re about to take) that will “nudge” users to think about “how they want to respond before replying to a comment that our systems tell us could be offensive.” There will also also be a DM-specific nudge that will offer a reminder “to be respectful in DMs when sending a message request to a creator.”

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