Instagram is taking strong action against direct message (DM) spam by introducing stricter policies. Users will now only receive a single message from someone they don’t follow. To receive further messages, the chat request must be accepted first. Additionally, DM requests can now only contain text; photos, videos, and voice messages are not allowed.
These new DM restrictions were tested starting in late June and are part of Instagram’s efforts to combat spam. The platform already had tools in place to deal with spam, including the “Hidden Words” tool that hides messages containing objectionable keywords and emoji. They also have filters for scams and spam. While these measures help, they cannot completely prevent occasional spammers from getting through.
Instagram sees this move as a safety measure, particularly for women who often receive unsolicited inappropriate content in their DMs. While this step addresses the issue of unwanted media files, it may not fully stop harassers from sending offensive text.
This decision comes amidst increased pressure on Instagram’s parent company, Meta, from politicians and critics to improve anti-abuse measures, especially concerning teenagers. A Senate bill may soon require parental consent for teens to use social media apps, and Arkansas has already enacted a law mandating age verification. Critics have long argued that Meta’s anti-harassment policies have not adequately protected certain user demographics. Implementing measures like these is an attempt to address some of these concerns and prevent accusations of enabling abuse on the platform.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Instagram DM spam.
What is Instagram doing to combat DM spam?
Instagram is implementing stricter DM request policies to address spam. Non-followers will be limited to sending a single message, and DM requests can only contain text.
Can spammers still send photos, videos, or voice messages through DMs?
No, the new restrictions prevent spammers from sending media files like photos, videos, or voice messages. DM requests are now limited to text only.
Are there any existing tools to combat spam on Instagram?
Yes, Instagram already has some tools to tackle spam. These include the “Hidden Words” tool, which hides messages containing objectionable keywords and emoji, and filters for scams and spam.
How does Instagram’s move benefit user safety, especially for women?
The stricter DM rules aim to protect users, particularly women who frequently receive unsolicited inappropriate content in their DMs. By limiting media content, it helps address the issue.
Why is Meta under scrutiny concerning anti-abuse measures?
Politicians and critics are pressuring Meta to improve anti-abuse measures, especially for teenagers. There are concerns about user protection and the need for parental consent and age verification.
Can the new DM restrictions completely prevent all spam?
While the new rules are a significant step, they may not entirely stop occasional spammers from getting through. However, they are designed to reduce the incidence of spam in DMs.