• Isabel Encinares

Instagram’s New Sensitive Content Control Option

With the wide variety of content on Instagram, it is no surprise that the platform has finally implemented a way to filter and limit the kind of content its users are shown. Instagram’s new ‘Sensitive Content Control’ feature will allow users to select one of three options, which will determine what kind of content you are shown in the app.


As can be seen in the example above, the new Sensitive Content Control feature is now available in the most recent version of the app.

Users can access the feature by opening up their Settings, clicking the Account button, and selecting Sensitive Content Controls. Once the Sensitive Content Controls tab is open, users will then be able to select one of three options:

  • Allow - You may see more photos or videos that could be upsetting or offensive

  • Limit (Default) - You may see some photos or videos that could be upsetting or offensive

  • Limit Even More - You may see fewer photos or videos that could be upsetting or offensive

The default setting for Instagram users is the Limit setting, which allows the display of some sensitive content, but in case users wish to remove all restrictions and select the ‘Allow’ option, they must be at least 18 years old.


On a related note, Instagram has made it clear that they already have a number of rules and systems that currently protect its users from offensive content. They also have specific parameters that control both a user’s normal feed and Explore one.


"We don’t allow hate speech, bullying, and other content that might present a risk of harm to people. We also have rules about what kind of content we show you in places like Explore; we call these our Recommendation Guidelines. These guidelines were designed to help ensure that we don’t show you sensitive content from accounts you don’t follow. You can think of sensitive content as posts that don’t necessarily break our rules, but could potentially be upsetting to some people – such as posts that may be sexually suggestive or violent."

As such, the new feature, which utilizes Instagram’s automatic content detection system, is meant to protect users who wish to see absolutely no sensitive content.

Instagram has been refining and working on its content detection systems for quite a while now. In fact, back in 2019, the platform outlined how their image recognition system identified and sorted content that carefully treads the line of what is acceptable and what is not.


According to Instagram, as part of their effort to protect users from offensive content, posts that are extremely close to breaking community guidelines are not given as much reach and are given limited exposure. As these sanctions are managed by Instagram’s automatic AI systems, Instagram must work hard to ensure and improve the accuracy of the system’s content detection.


In line with this, Instagram has been training its AI systems by using data from their content moderators who label borderline content during their regular work periods. Through this process, the Instagram AI has evolved and the platform has been able to better limit the reach of borderline material. Moreover, as the AI proceeds to continuously evolve, the amount of control users have over their newsfeed has increased.


However, as is with any AI system, accuracy is not 100% and there is still a chance for a few false positives, however, if you are a user who is simply looking for ways to improve your experience and limit what you see, then the new system will be extremely useful to you.

Moreover, as the number of young people using social media increases, it becomes all the more important for Instagram to protect its users and limit certain types of content when they can. However, if you are a business on Instagram and have been trying to push the boundaries with your different marketing campaigns, you should definitely study the wait the platform’s AI works if your content or visuals could possibly be marked as offensive.


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