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Instagram has a new way to keep abusive DM requests hidden

Abusive DM requests will get routed to a hidden folder.

Instagram has added more anti-harassment features.
Sarah Tew/CNET

Instagram will give you the option of filtering out potentially abusive direct message requests, the company said Wednesday in a blogpost.

The new feature will take messages containing various offensive terms and place them in a hidden folder so you don't have to see them. If you open the folder, those words will be obscured unless you decide to tap to uncover them. You can also customize a list of words, emoji and the like that you don't want to see in your DM requests. 

"We understand the impact that abusive content -- whether it's racist, sexist, homophobic, or any other kind of abuse -- can have on people. Nobody should have to experience that on Instagram," the company said. 

The feature, if enabled, only applies to DM requests, not the messages you might get from people you follow. 

The Hidden Words feature, which will be found under the app's privacy settings, will start rolling out in several countries in the next few weeks.

Instagram also said it's launching a feature to make it easier to block new accounts created by someone you've blocked. This is the latest wave of features aimed at curbing harassment on the platform. In May 2020, Instagram introduced the ability to delete multiple negative comments at once and to control who tags or mentions you in comment, caption or story.