Instagram is upgrading its Sensitive Control feature

Instagram is allowing its users a better way to filter sensitive content in all pages of its platform with a Sensitive Control feature update.


by Aline Barbosa

06/07/2022 | Updated on 06/08/2022

Users can have more control over different pages within the app.

Instagram is upgrading its Sensitive Content feature. Source: Instagram.

Instagram is updating its Sensitive Control feature. The tool, which allows users to put an adjustable feature on all content recommended by the platform, will apply to more areas on the app. In a blog post, Instagram explained it is broadening the settings for beyond its Explore page. Now, it’ll include any recommendation. That includes hashtag pages, user’s feeds, the search engine, reels and the Accounts You Might Follow feature. 

The app has always allowed users to filter their content from three different toggles that vary in its intensity. However, Instagram is now rebranding their names from “allow”, “limit” and “limit more” to “less”, “standard” and “more”. All accounts automatically “standard” by default, which allows users to see some of the sensitive content posted on the platform. Users are able to change this setting at will. “Less” is the most limiting option, while “more” will show them the most sensitive content. 

The Sensitive Content toggle faced some heavy controversy when Instagram released it last year. Users in the art, tattoo and a series of other industries claimed that the new feature ends up filtering out their work. Meanwhile, an Instagram spokesperson said that all creators don’t need to worry about the new feature because the company’s already filtered what they believe to be sensitive content. Moreover, the company says that the feature might help expand most creators’ visibility on the platform.

Since the new upgrade includes different areas of Instagram – like recommendations and Reels – content creators who were worried about the platform filtering their work now have even more of a reason to be concerned about the algorithm. Even though Instagram says there are labels explaining each of the available options, they are still vague. 

Creators concerned about their Instagram content

Users can filter more sensitive content. Source: Adobe Stock.

Instagram defines “sensitive content” as subjects some users might not be comfortable with, like drugs or violence. In its support page, the company offers a more detailed description of what they believe to be sensitive. Suggestive content or posts that promote the use of vaping products or tobacco are listed. Content showing and/or promoting cosmetics are considered sensitive as well. 

Although it’s an upgrade, the Sensitive Control feature still applies as a catch-all filter for all sensitive content posted on the platform. The main problem with it, is that it fails to be more specific in situations where a user might be okay with vaping content, but is uncomfortable with firearms. To make sure content creators are thrown of by their filters, Instagram should work on making them more specific. That way, users could have a better idea on what they are blocking out when they choose a setting. 

It’s worth noting, however, that turning the Sensitive Content Control to show “more” sensitive content won’t show users all sorts of sensitive matters. Instagram has strict Community Guidelines and recommendations, and will remove any post that violates their rules. The new upgrade is to give more control to users over the visibility of content that may be upsetting to some.

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About the author

Aline Barbosa

Aline Barbosa is an editor, writer and learning-enthusiast. Passionate about music, books and human behavior. Curious about the unknown. Believer that learning is a life-long process.

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