When people of different backgrounds, culture, age and thoughts gather, things can heat up pretty quickly. As a result, sensitive content can be created and shared.
Instagram is the photo- and video-sharing social media network owned by Facebook. And this time, it is announcing a setting that allows users to limit how much potentially sensitive content can shows up in their Instagram Explore tab.
In the section which displays popular photos, locations, and searches based on the user's interests, according to Facebook, the Sensitive Content Control setting allows users to “see more or less of some types of sensitive content,” which may be “upsetting or offensive.”
The Sensitive Content Control setting adjusts to three different levels, which can be set manually by users:
'Allow' which derestrict everything, 'Limit' which is safer and is he default option, and 'Limit Even More' which is the safest of the three options.
It should be noted though, that the tool can only set the restrict or derestrict contents from the Explore tab, which homes contents from accounts users' don't follow.
"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 said in a release.
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.
Explaining what it considers for which, Instagram said that sensitive content could include sexually suggestive or violent posts, as well as posts that promote things like tobacco or pharmaceutical use.
In another example, Facebook said that contents showing a fight or see-through clothing may be considered “sensitive,” and therefore shouldn’t show up on the feed for people who have have sensitive content limits. “Graphic” violence or nudity will be taken down, and should not show up, regardless users' settings.
What this means, contents that flat-out violate Facebook's rules will get removed, no questions asked.
Facebook has made it clear that this setting is based on its Recommendation Guidelines, which govern what can show up on the Explore page, and not its Community Guidelines.
Sensitive Content Control is only an adjustable setting which gives users more control of their feed
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 get to choose which setting they want at any given time.
Instagram, like other social media platforms, has long struggled with how to police problematic or harmful content on its platform.
The app has made other changes for users to shape their experience, including adding new tools for people to turn off comments or restrict people from interacting with them.
And this tool comes at a time when many social media networks are trying to figure out how to deal with content that may be upsetting to some users but engaging for others.
After all, different people may have different taste and tolerance. And here, Instagram wants to meet the different levels of limitation users are giving themselves.
Previously, Instagram attempted to address concerns about content moderation and the well-being of users, by rolling out the option to hide Likes and the ability for users to restrict certain followers from interacting with their accounts.
Users can access this Sensitive Content Control setting on their Instagram profiles by going to 'Account' and then to 'Sensitive Content Control'.