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How To Filter Sensitive Content On Instagram In 2022

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Sensitive content control on instagram


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Instagram is undoubtedly the most popular social media platform in today’s day and age. It facilitates sharing images, videos, messaging, and even video calls. Every day the developers are trying to make the platform better and more user-friendly for all by introducing new features. One such latest feature of Instagram is the ability to filter sensitive content. It was a much-needed feature requested by many users to limit the amount of sensitive content visible to them. After reading this article, you’ll easily be able to turn on/off the sensitive content filters for Instagram and how to go about using it. It is available to use on all parts of the platform such as Search, Reels, in-feed recommendations, and more. Let us see how to get sensitive content filter on Instagram! 

Why Is There A Need to Filter Sensitive Content On Instagram? 

Living in 2022 comes with its pros and cons. Social media can make a strong difference. Political propaganda, violence and content that promotes the use of illegal substances are not uncommon. Not only is it offensive to a lot of people, but it’s also highly unethical which is why a lot of people may choose not to engage with it. Here comes Instagram’s sensitive content filter to the rescue. 

The concept of Instagram's sensitive content filter applies to content that goes against Instagram’s Recommendation Guidelines but not to content that goes against Instagram’s Community Guidelines. It is technically not violating the terms and conditions of the platform but might be considered triggering to some people. It is included but is not limited to:

  • Content that depicts physical violence
  • Sexually explicit content
  • Posts that promote the use of harmful substances in any way
  • Anything that makes false claims in an attempt to sell a health-related product such as pills to cure baldness

Since a lot of people on Instagram strictly don’t want to see content that relates to drugs and firearms and has sexual connotations, Instagram’s lack of transparency on sensitive control was questioned by the people.

More so because Instagram has had a history of being notorious towards a certain type of accounts; even those relating to sex educators. By being hostile to them, it is only defaming itself. Rather, coming up with a sensitive control measure is a better idea as those who do not want to engage with such content can choose not to. 

A Follow-Up On Sensitive Content Control 

Back in 2021, Instagram introduced a new toggle called “Sensitive Content Control” which gave users a bit more power to see what they want and choose what they don’t want to see in the discovery tab.

The filters were vaguely defined and not perfect. It had two layers of filtering sensitive content in the settings- limiting content that could be “upsetting or offensive,” or “limit even more.” The phrasing itself is very general with a lack of specifications which acknowledges that the moderation policies of the platform are not 100% in check.

The entire motive of this move was to ensure that people don’t end up seeing adult content as recommendations on their explore tab and feed. It was to give them more power instead of what they wanted to see and remove ambiguous posts from recommendations that might be borderline offensive. Instagram, in one of its blog posts, put it as- 

“We believe people should be able to shape Instagram into the experience that they want.” 

Since Instagram still refuses to offer complete transparency as to what exactly defines the parameters of “sensitive content”, it is giving users the ability to filter it as per their needs. We will now have expanded content controls for everything- Search, Reels, hashtag pages, “accounts you might follow” and in-feed suggested posts.

Instead of muting certain topics, Instagram offers the following three settings for users to choose from:

  • A setting that shows less of such content
  • Standard default settings
  • An option to see more sensitive content. (only available for 18+ users)

Ambiguity In What Is Considered Sensitive 

Sensitivity is subjective in nature. It differs from person to person. What might be perceived as sensitive to one person might be perfectly normal for someone else and vice versa. Similar is the case with content on Instagram as well. The trend started back in 2017 when it started to blur some posts on the grounds of it displaying sensitive content and only allowing users to view them once they agreed. 

Again, the parameters and boundaries which defined sensitivity were not specified; something that Instagram struggles with to date. For instance, Instagram has flagged many images under the pretense of “sexually explicit” content which in reality are artistic paintings or sculptures which happen to depict nudity. 

Another example is that of people sharing their traumatic experiences to raise awareness about violence and abuse but Instagram flagged the post itself as abusive and violent. Therefore, implementing the necessary machine learning and artificial intelligence technology to recognize these cognitive differences is a must. 

Instagram has aimed at creating a safe space for everyone to use the social media platform. And those who are okay with content that might be sensitive can choose to disable this filter. The solution is not exactly feasible since the categorization of content spreads far and wide. 

Steps to Filter Sensitive Content On Instagram In 2022 

Now that you have a fair idea about Instagram’s sensitivity control policies, you might want to tweak some settings yourself. If that is the case, here is a step-by-step guide on how to use sensitivity content filter on Instagram:

  • Open the Play Store/App Store on your Android/iOS device and update Instagram to the latest version, if not done already. Simply search for it and tap on update and then open the app on your smartphone. 
  • Tap on your profile picture in the bottom right corner. 

how to get sensitive content filter on instagram

  • Go to the hamburger menu on the top-right corner; the one which has three horizontal parallel lines. 

sensitive content filter instagram

  • From the bunch of options available, tap on Settings. 

instagram sensitive content filter

  • On the Settings page, go to Account.

 how to turn off sensitive content filter on instagram

  • Scroll down on this page till you find Sensitive Content Control. 

 how to use sensitive content filter instagram

  • Tap on it and then tap again on the Continue button on the next screen. 

How To Filter Sensitive Content On Instagram

  • Here, you can choose how much sensitive content you want to see on Instagram- Standard, More or Less. 

Filter Sensitive Content On Instagram

That’s it. You can now choose how much sensitive content you wish to see on your Instagram. However, it does not apply to the accounts you follow. It will only filter sensitive content for the accounts you don’t follow on Instagram. 

Advantages Of Having A Sensitivity Filter On Instagram 

By giving the right to users to choose what type of content they want to see as well as specifying the category of content they do not wish to view, Instagram has made a bold move. Sensitivity is a serious issue and should not be taken lightly at all. With the average teen spending hours on Instagram on a daily basis, the kind of content you engage with has a significant impact on your brain. 

  • Since Instagram is dominated by teenagers, the first and foremost advantage of having sensitivity control is restricting adult content. 
  • Gruesome sights such as that of violence and abuse can scar a teen’s brain causing trauma and flashbacks. Therefore, limiting this is good for their mental health too. 
  • Health-related gimmicks sell dubious products such as weight-reducing pills. Some people might get carried away by it so keeping this in check prevents you from fraud. 
  • Overall, this feature makes Instagram a much safer platform to be used by people of all age groups. 

Disadvantages Of Having A Sensitivity Filter On Instagram 

Although the initiative taken by Instagram is commendable, it’s still a work-in-progress. Here are some of the disadvantages of having this filter enabled- 

  • The pattern recognition of posts that are explicit and might be offensive to some people needs some work. Often, posts trying to educate us about a particular issue are being flagged by Instagram on the same grounds it is trying to overcome. 
  • It has resulted in unfair censoring which has led to not allowing their posts to be seen by others. Content related to certain marginalized groups has also been restricted. 
  • The new guidelines are particularly problematic for artists, LGBTQ communities, and activists. Their content is often misunderstood and wrongfully falls under the restricted category. 
  • For many users, Instagram has changed the sensitive control settings without alerting the users and setting the default to limiting sensitive content for all users. For those unaware, you’ll have to manually go into your account settings and change it to standard or show more sensitive content. 

When Will This Feature Roll Out? 

After reading up on all of this, you must be wondering, how to get a sensitive content filter on Instagram, right? Well, as per Instagram, this feature will be available to all by the end of the month through an update. So, ensure you’re running the latest version of the app and always stay updated to get your hands on this feature right away! 

Considering the popularity of Instagram, every little update matters a lot. It is used by millions of people on a daily basis, of every age group. It’s not necessary that every move on Instagram will always be successful. Backlashes happen and it is a part and parcel of this field. Therefore, adequate research is necessary before implementing a new feature. 

It is also important to take it one step at a time. For example, Instagram did not go full-throttle on the sensitivity control feature at once. It introduced it bit by bit, one step at a time over the last couple of years. This is why we can expect to see more updates and sensitivity features in the future too. 

That’s it for this one. For more interesting articles, stay tuned to TechBurner

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