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Instagram Developing User Controls to Block Nudity in Messages

The optional user tools are still in the early stages of development, Meta says.

The Instagram app logo on a smartphone screen
SOPA Images/Getty

Meta is developing a set of optional user controls for Instagram to help safeguard users from unwanted and inappropriate content.

The tools are being created to "help people protect themselves from unwanted DMs, like photos containing nudity," a Meta spokesperson told CNET in a statement Wednesday.

"This technology doesn't allow Meta to see anyone's private messages, nor are they shared with us or anyone else," Meta said. "We're working closely with experts to ensure these new features preserve people's privacy, while giving them control over the messages they receive."

Some of the new, optional controls that Instagram plans to offer will be similar to its current Hidden Words' controls, as well as provide on-device safety protections with end-to-end encryption. The goal of the new controls, which users can opt in or out of, is to stop harm before it occurs and give users more control over their experience on the app. Meta will supposedly not be able to see or collect any of the images, and there will be no signals to share with third parties.

The new tools are still in the early stages of development and aren't yet being tested, Meta said.

Meta's development of the new Instagram tools comes on the heels of the tech company being hit with a $400 million fine from Ireland's Data Protection Commission for failing to protect children's information on Instagram, as well as multiple lawsuits in the US alleging the tech company knowingly exploits its younger users for profit on both Facebook and Instagram.