Instagram’s New Sensitivity Filter is Censoring Their Work, Complain Users

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Users of social media giant- Instagram have expressed concern with the platform’s new sensitive content filter as the feature is blocking their posts.

As per The Verge, while posting on both the feed and in Stories, account holders have been warning their followers that the setting is limiting their reach and that their followers should disable the filter to ensure their posts get through.

“Over the past 24 hours, I’ve had many conversations with artists and other creators who are incredibly frustrated by having their work hidden. Conversely, people are frustrated that they can’t find the content they want to see,” Phillip Miner, an artist and the creator of queer hobby magazine Natural Pursuits, wrote in a post.

An earlier post of Philip’s post alerting people to the filter has reached over 700,000 people and has been shared 192,000 times as of this morning, he told The Verge. Users from all sorts of communities, including the art world, tattoo artists, and more have picked up on it, sharing similar concerns, he said.

The sensitivity filter, which was introduced on Tuesday by Instagram, allows people to set limits around how much potentially sensitive content they might see on their ”Explore” page. The feature is supposed to filter out things like self-harm content, and it’s turned on by default.

But according to Instagram- creators shouldn’t worry! The app already limited the amount of sensitive content people see on their ”Explore” page, and “the default setting retains that filtering”.

With the options introduced on Tuesday, users can either further limit sensitive content or allow more of it to surface.

A spokesperson spoke to The Verge that some users could even see a bump in discoverability because of this change if people opt into allowing more sensitive content on their Explore page.

The change will have “no impact” on what users see in their feed or in Stories, “where we will continue showing them posts from people they follow,” the spokesperson said.

Instagram defined the ”Sensitive Content” feature in its ”Recommendation Guidelines”, which only pertains to content that is recommended in places like ”Explore” and ”IGTV Discover” and is much broader than its ”Community Guidelines”.

As per The Verge, content that is considered sensitive is still allowed on the app, as opposed to content that violates its Community Guidelines, but Instagram might surface it less frequently, particularly for users who set their sensitivity limits to the lowest level.

A spokesperson did not specify how much sensitive content users could expect to see in their Explore page at any of the three available settings.

The feature covers sensitive content like nudity, sexually explicit content, tobacco-related content, or content related to pharmaceutical drugs, both are considered sensitive content.

As per The Verge, “Instagram clearly attempted to give people more control. The photo-sharing platform also is not clear with people who want to disable the filter as to whether they will suddenly see lots of unwanted weight loss content or violent images. Though ultimately much of Instagram won’t change with this new setting, the communication about it should.”


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