Instagram announced in the past week that they will begin policing private direct messages in their latest crackdown on so-called "hate speech" on their platform, a report says.
In line with the recent racial abusive comments that are "targeted at footballers in the U.K." after losing a match, the social media platform Instagram announced Wednesday that they will be imposing stricter measures in order "to help prevent" the further spread of abuse and hate speech in direct messages, Daily Wire reported.
"So today we're announcing some new measures, including removing the accounts of people who send abusive messages, and developing new controls to help reduce the abuse people see in their DMs." Instagram wrote in an announcement.
The President of England's Football Association, Prince William, issued a statement last month on Twitter saying, "Racist abuse - whether on the pitch, in the stands, or on social media - is despicable and it must stop now. We all have a responsibility to create an environment where such abuse is not tolerated, and those who choose to spread hate and division are held accountable for their actions."
Instagram started the announcement by saying that they want their platform to serve as a place for people to connect with the people and things they love. But hate speech has been rampant recently, especially in direct messages. As a consequence, Instagram took stronger actions to emphasize its stance on hate speech.
"Our rules against hate speech don't tolerate attacks on people based on their protected characteristics, including race or religion. We strengthened these rules last year, banning more implicit forms of hate speech, like content depicting Blackface and common antisemitic tropes. We take action whenever we become aware of hate speech, and we're continuously improving our detection tools so we can find it faster." Instagram said adding that last year, they took action on almost 6.5 million cases of hate speech on their platform
The social media platform also announced that they are imposing tougher consequences for hate speeches and repeat offenders will have their accounts disabled.
"Today, we're announcing that we'll take tougher action when we become aware of people breaking our rules in DMs. Currently, when someone sends DMs that break our rules, we prohibit that person from sending any more messages for a set period of time. Now, if someone continues to send violating messages, we'll disable their account. We'll also disable new accounts created to get around our messaging restrictions, and will continue to disable accounts we find that are created purely to send abusive messages." Instagram added.
Instagram noted that they teamed up with the "UK law enforcement authorities" to further respond to hate speech cases and "valid legal request for information in these cases".
In January, Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, said on Facebook (the social media company that owns Instagram), "We're not neutral," he admitted. "No platform is neutral, we all have values and those values influence the decisions we make."
"We try and be apolitical," he added, "but that's increasingly difficult, particularly in the US where people are more and more polarized."