How Instagram Is Keeping Mean DMs Out Of Your Inbox

Instagram is rolling out a feature to filter DM requests based on words, emojis, and phrases deemed to be offensive after working with anti-bullying and anti-discrimination organizations. 

"Unfortunately, there are many groups and individuals sending abusive DMs and DM requests,"  Damon McCoy, associate professor of computer science and engineering at New York University's Tandon School of Engineering, told Lifewire in an email.

"A lot of it is misogynistic and bigoted. Some of it is focused on exerting power and control. For example, shaming or making someone feel unsafe so that they post less frequently or self-censor."

McCoy, along with researchers at New York University and the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), found in a 2017 study that people likely to experience harassment after being "doxed"—having their personal information maliciously exposed online—deleted their accounts less frequently when Facebook and Instagram started filtering abusive comments.