Instagram adds two-factor authentication, censors photos that are deemed offensive or disturbing

Photos that don't violate Instagram's content guidelines but are still considered "sensitive" will be blurred out.

When in doubt, blur it out. That’s how Instagram is handling any controversial photos that surface on its platform.

On Thursday, Instagram announced a new policy to blur out “sensitive” content that users have flagged as either offensive or disturbing. The blurred photos and videos do not explicitly violate Instagram’s content guidelines, so they don’t warrant a removal by Instagram standards. However, some users may still find them too sensitive to view.

“While these posts don’t violate our guidelines, someone in the community has reported them and our review team has confirmed they are sensitive,” the Instagram team wrote in a blog post announcing the policy. “This change means you are less likely to have surprising or unwanted experiences in the app.”

instagram sensitive content profile Instagram

If you come across a blurred photo or video on Instagram and would like to see it, you can just tap on it and the blurry screen will disappear to reveal the sensitive content.

In addition, Instagram used the opportunity of “Fostering a Safer, Kinder Community” to announce that two-factor authentication was now available to every user.

Why this matters: As Instagram continues to gain millions of users, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to moderate the type of content that surfaces on its platform. As a general rule, Instagram doesn’t allow photos and videos that contain nudity. Although this policy has been modified so that “photos of post-mastectomy scarring and women actively breastfeeding are allowed.”

Glorification of self-injury and graphic, violent content are other big no-no’s. And Instagram’s parent company, Facebook, has also had to navigate these murky waters, especially as it pertains to “graphic” or disturbing content. In 2013 the company lifted a ban to allow photos and videos that depicted beheadings.

It seems Instagram will continue to rely on its own community to self-moderate and flag inappropriate content. But instead of having to decide whether a photo crosses the line or violates the guidelines, it’s going to err on the side of blurring it out. After all, it’s impossible to expect every Instagram user to have the same threshold of what they consider offensive or disturbing.

But if Instagram almost always removes nudity and violent content, what could still constitute as “sensitive” content? We’re just going to have to tap on those blurred photos to find out.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Instagram

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Oscar Raymundo

Macworld.com
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?