Instagram gives its users a little bit more power to see what they want – and not see what they want Not want – in his Content Discovery Hub. The company launched a new switch on Tuesday called Sensitive Content Control, which allows anyone to review posts they think may be offensive and hide them from the Explore tab.
The new feature will appear in the settings menu and will allow users to either allow more content that could be “disturbing or offensive”, restrict or “restrict” that content. The wording is a bit strange, but it recognizes that the company’s moderation efforts are not perfect, and that’s realistic at least.
“You can think of sensitive content as posts that don’t necessarily violate our rules, but could potentially be disturbing to some people – such as posts that can be sexually suggestive or violent,” Instagram said in the announcement.
Biomedarticles asked the company to explain what types of posts are hidden in each category and whether human or algorithmic moderation determines what is sensitive, but received no response.
We also asked if the company has any plans to create separate toggles for violence and sexual content, as a lot of people who are comfortable with the latter are less inclined to include violence in the app’s makeup tutorials and influencer junkets to see.
On Instagram, “sensitive” content is a huge collective category for things that they allow but do not want to be viewed as direct advertising. In its own Recommended Content Policy, Instagram states that sexually suggestive content such as “Pictures of people in see-through clothing” is not eligible for the Explore tab. Instagram’s definition of sensitive content also includes dangerous forms of content such as “exaggerated health claims” and posts promoting weight loss supplements.
Instagram is notorious for monitoring content that the platform deems sexual. A campaign by black plus-size model Nyome Nicholas-Williams last year successfully put pressure on the platform to relax one of its overly restrictive nudity rules.
Instagram has contextualized the new content controls to give users more options to control what is displayed on their feed. “We believe people should be able to style Instagram the way they want,” the company wrote in a blog post, noting that recent changes like the ability to opt out of comments have benefited users also offer more choice.
While the company is giving users more control over its algorithm in a few small steps, it is also considering giving them less. Last month, Instagram began testing algorithmic proposals that were shuffled into the main feed, a design decision that would allow the company to give the platform even more of what it wants to see.