Instagram is working on a new feature that would block unsolicited nude photos sent via direct message on the app, in a move that could potentially cut down on the amount of sexual harassment messages and images received by its users.
Meta, which owns Instagram, confirmed that the feature was in development and that more information about it would be revealed soon, as it gets closer to testing stage.
The company compared the as-yet untitled feature, highlighted first by app researcher Alessandro Paluzzi, to Instagram’s Hidden Words function, which filters messages containing offensive words.
Being sent unwanted, unsolicited dick pics and other nude photos is a huge problem for many social media users, particularly women. Unlike Twitter, Instagram does not allow nudity or explicit sexual content on its platform, but that doesn’t stop many aggressively horny men harassing people by attempting to send them photos of their erections.
A 2020 study by the University of London found that 75 percent of 12-18 year-olds surveyed said they had received unsolicited nude photos online.
Meta said that when the function is rolled out, Instagram won’t be able to view messages the filter is applied to, or share their content with any third parties.