Technology

Instagram users can now control how much sensitive content they see

New York (CNN Business)Instagram is making it easier for users to control how much sensitive content they see when browsing the app’s Explore page.

The social media platform on Tuesday launched a new tool called “Sensitive Content Control,” which gives users the option to dial up or down the amount of potentially objectionable content that appears in Explore, the section where the app surfaces posts from accounts users don’t follow.

Previously, Instagram had relied on a set of recommendation guidelines to ensure users didn’t see potentially upsetting or offensive content in Explore. With the new tool, users can choose to keep the default setting, which is to see a limited amount of sensitive content, or further reduce the amount of such content they are shown. Those over the age of 18 will also have the option to allow any and all posts deemed sensitive in nature.

    While Instagram’s content moderation policy bans certain types of problematic content, including hate speech and harassment, this new “sensitive content” option relates to posts that some users might take offense to, such as those of a sexual or violent nature, but that don’t necessarily violate the app’s content rules.

      “We recognize that everybody has different preferences for what they want to see in Explore, and this control will give people more choice over what they see,” Instagram parent company Facebook (FB) said in a release.

            This tweak comes as Instagram and other social networks attempt to address concerns about content moderation and the well-being of users. Instagram has recently rolled out the option to hide likes and the ability for users to restrict certain followers from interacting with their accounts. And Facebook is currently battling criticism for failing to prevent the spread of certain other types of problematic content — namely, misinformation about the Covid-19 pandemic and vaccines.

            Users can access the new feature in the Settings menu on their Instagram profiles by going to “Account” and then to “Sensitive Content Control.”

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