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Here’s How Instagram Is Reducing Potentially Harmful Content On the Platform

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Meta-owned photo sharing platform Instagram is taking some new steps to make ‘potentially harmful’ content less visible in the app. The company has announced that its algorithm will now de-prioritise content that may contain bullying, hate speech, or may incite violence. Instagram’s rules already prohibit this type of content in users’ feeds and in Stories, and this change is expected to affect borderline posts or content that has not reached Instagram’s moderators yet.

Until now, Instagram tries to hide potentially harmful content from public parts of the app like Explore, but has not changed how it appears to the followers of the account that has posted the piece of content. The latest change that has made news means that posts that are similar to those that have been removed in the past will be much less visible, even to the followers of the page that has posted. A spokesperson for Meta was quoted in an Engadget report as saying that potentially harmful content could still be removed eventually if the post breaks its community guidelines.

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The latest change follows an update from 2020 when Instagram began down-ranking accounts that shared misinformation that has been fact-checked. The latest change, however, is different. It will only affect specific posts and not whole accounts.

In the latest change, the Meta-owned platform will also factor in the individual’s reporting history into how it ranks their posts. “If our systems predict you’re likely to report a post based on your history of reporting content, we will show the post lower in your Feed,” the company said in a blog post.

Instagram earlier this week introduced a new feature that allows creators on the platform to charge a subscription fee to their followers, in order to get access to exclusive content like Instagram Live and special Stories. The company has launched a pilot programme for the feature with 10 influencers in the United States, and will expand the feature after initial tests.

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