We have had a victory in our discussions with Instagram—they have improved their reporting system and made changes to their direct messaging controls to better address child sexual exploitation.
Last December, Defend Dignity, along with organizations from Australia and the United States met with Instagram executives to express our concerns about predation, pornography, and exploitation on the popular app.
Last month, Instagram responded to our request about improving their reporting system. You can now report: “Nudity or pornography, involves a child.” This reporting is being prioritized, and IG will work with the appropriate authorities if need be.
You can report your concerns about a post, a comment, or a profile.
For a Post: Choose Inappropriate, then Nudity or sexual activity, and then you will be able to report: Nudity or pornography, Sexual exploitation or solicitation, Sharing private images, or Involves a child.
For a Comment: Swipe left, hit the “!”, choose inappropriate, then Nudity or sexual activity, then Nudity or pornography, Sexual exploitation or solicitation, or Threatening to share private messages.
For a Profile: Choose Inappropriate, then Report account, then Posting content that shouldn’t be on Instagram, Pretending to be someone else, or It may be under the age of 13. If you choose Under 13, you will need to fill out form.
STRANGERS CAN’T DIRECT MESSAGE YOU
Another area of concern was strangers being able to Direct Message people, especially youth. Often predators would use this feature to request photos or proposition youth. We specifically requested Instagram give people the ability to shut off this direct access.
To control who can message you, go to Settings, then Privacy, then Messages. There are a variety of types of connection you can control, i.e. “Your followers on Instagram,” or “Friends of Friends;” you click and then can select to receive or not receive messages.
We will continue to work on issues with Instagram, especially surrounding child safety. Please report anything inappropriate that you come across. As well, would you please let Defend Dignity know, and we will follow up with Instagram.
If you have had any negative experiences in Instagram, please let Defend Dignity know. We want to let Instagram know what is not working, and where they need to continue to improve and be vigilant.