instagramsensitivecontent100714865orig

Instagram adds two-factor authentication, censors photos that are deemed offensive or disturbing

When in doubt, blur it out. That’s how Instagram is handling any controversial photos that surface on its platform.

On Thursday, Instagram announced a new policy to blur out “sensitive” content that users have flagged as either offensive or disturbing. The blurred photos and videos do not explicitly violate Instagram’s content guidelines, so they don’t warrant a removal by Instagram standards. However, some users may still find them too sensitive to view. 

“While these posts don’t violate our guidelines, someone in the community has reported them and our review team has confirmed they are sensitive,” the Instagram team wrote in a blog post announcing the policy. “This change means you are less likely to have surprising or unwanted experiences in the app.”

Instagram

If you come across a blurred photo or video on Instagram and would like to see it, you can just tap on it and the blurry screen will disappear to reveal the sensitive content.

In addition, Instagram used the opportunity of “Fostering a Safer, Kinder Community” to announce that two-factor authentication was now available to every user.

Why this matters: As Instagram continues to gain millions of users, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to moderate the type of content that surfaces on its platform. As a general rule, Instagram doesn’t allow photos and videos that contain nudity. Although this policy has been modified so that “photos of post-mastectomy scarring and women actively breastfeeding are allowed.”

Glorification of self-injury and graphic, violent content are other big no-no’s. And Instagram’s parent company, Facebook, has also had to navigate these murky waters, especially as it pertains to “graphic” or disturbing content. In 2013 the company lifted a ban to allow photos and videos that depicted beheadings.

It seems Instagram will continue to rely on its own community to self-moderate and flag inappropriate content. But instead of having to decide whether a photo crosses the line or violates the guidelines, it’s going to err on the side of blurring it out. After all, it’s impossible to expect every Instagram user to have the same threshold of what they consider offensive or disturbing.

But if Instagram almost always removes nudity and violent content, what could still constitute as “sensitive” content? We’re just going to have to tap on those blurred photos to find out.

IDG Insider

PREVIOUS ARTICLE

« Microsoft expands connected car push with patent licensing

NEXT ARTICLE

Leaked iCloud credentials obtained from third parties, Apple says »
author_image
IDG Connect

IDG Connect tackles the tech stories that matter to you

  • Mail

Recommended for You

20 Red-Hot, Pre-IPO companies to watch in 2019 B2B tech - Part 1

Martin Veitch's inside track on today’s tech trends

Training and certification for a cloud native world

Keri Allan looks at the latest trends and technologies

Unicorns are running free in the UK but Brexit poses a tough challenge

Trevor Clawson on the outlook for UK Tech startups

Poll

Do you think your smartphone is making you a workaholic?