Unsolicited nude photographs are a major issue on social media, but Instagram is apparently developing a mechanism to combat them. According to an early screengrab published by researcher Alessandro Paluzzi, "Nudity protection" technology "covers photographs that may contain nudity in conversation," allowing users the option to watch or not view them. Instagram parent company Meta acknowledged to The Verge that it is in the works.
Meta stated that the goal is to protect individuals from receiving nude photographs or other unwelcome messages. As an added safeguard, the business stated that it will not see the photographs or share them with third parties. "We’re working closely with experts to ensure these new features preserve people’s privacy, while giving them control over the messages they receive," a spokesperson said. It plans to share more details in the coming weeks ahead of any testing.
Meta explained that the new function is similar to the "Hidden Words" tool that was introduced last year. Users can use this tool to filter abusive messages in DM requests based on key terms. If a request contains any of the filter words you've specified, it is automatically placed in a secret folder that you may choose not to open — albeit it isn't fully erased.
The feature is nice, but it has been long overdue, since unsolicited nude photographs were mostly disregarded by social media sites until they became a widespread problem. According to a 2020 research conducted by the University College London, 75.8 percent of 150 young people aged 12-18 had received unsolicited nude photographs.
Multiple jurisdictions, notably California and the United Kingdom, have targeted sending unwelcome nude images, sometimes known as "cyberflashing." If the Online Safety Bill is enacted by parliament, it might become a criminal violation in the United Kingdom. Although California did not go nearly that far, the state house and senate approved overwhelmingly last month to allow users to sue for unsolicited nude images and other sexually explicit material.