Sending unsolicited nude photos, also known as ‘cyber flashing,’ is considered a crime in many countries. In the United Kingdom, legislation to punish perpetrators has been enacted as part of broader government efforts to ensure that laws keep pace with emerging crimes. Several reports today state that the social media platform Instagram is making its own move to combat unsolicited NSFW photos.
Through an article courtesy of Engadget, we learned that Instagram is working on a tool to address the problem of unsolicited nude photos on Instagram. This is confirmed through a tweet by social media researcher Alessandro Paluzzi that a new “Nudity protection” feature can help users cover photos potentially containing nudity.
Instagram Rolls Out Nudity Protection Feature
According to that tweet, this feature will automatically cover photos deemed to contain harmful content, most likely nude photos. It will allow the user to open or ignore the blocked photo. As per recent screenshots, this feature is something Instagram users can enable in the settings.
#Instagram is working on nudity protection for chats 👀
ℹ️ Technology on your device covers photos that may contain nudity in chats. Instagram CAN’T access photos. pic.twitter.com/iA4wO89DFd
— Alessandro Paluzzi (@alex193a) September 19, 2022
Instagram administrator Meta confirmed, who told The Verge that the aforementioned public safety tool is currently developing. The tech giant also stated that the feature is an optional setting and works similarly to the existing ‘Hidden Words‘ feature, which filters chat with harmful content.
“We’re working closely with experts to ensure these new features preserve people’s privacy while giving them control over the messages they receive,” Meta told reporters. The tech firm emphasizes that the feature is designed to ‘protect’ users from harmful and abusive content. As an added layer of security, Meta stated that Instagram could not view the covered images themselves.
A similar safety feature on the photo and video sharing website is already available, but it only applies to public posts with flagged content. Based on an Instagram article, photos and videos with sensitive or graphic content may display a warning to inform viewers of the content before they view it. This warning appears when viewing a post in the Feed or a user’s profile.
Instagram did not go into greater detail about the upcoming anti-nudity feature. However, it has been confirmed that this feature will be implemented within the next few weeks.
This Feature was a Long Time Coming
The Internet these days can be a place for all sorts of harmful content. With an increasing number of susceptible members coming to most social media platforms, they are vulnerable to a wide range of abuse and online threats. This feature, which Instagram is currently developing, is undoubtedly useful, but it has long been overdue.
According to a 2020 study shared by TES, 75.8 percent of girls aged 12 to 18 have received unsolicited nude photos from men. This has become especially prevalent since the introduction of remote and blended learning. This new feature will assist people in avoiding exposure to such harmful content, especially if the law still does not cover the vile act.
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