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

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.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?