Instagram users around the platform share one central concern right now: that the app’s new sensitive content filter is blocking their posts. In posts on both stories and feeds, followers are warned by the accounts holder that the setting is limiting their reach, and their followers should disable the filter to ensure their posts get through.
According to Phillip Miner, an artist and the creator of queer hobby magazine Natural Pursuits, “Over the past 24 hours, I’ve had many conversations with artists and other creators who are incredibly frustrated by having their work hidden. Conversely, people are frustrated that they can’t find the content they want to see.” An earlier post of his alerting people to the filter has been shared 192,000 times as of the 23rd morning and has reached over 700,000 people. People from all sorts of communities have picked up on it, sharing similar concerns.
On Tuesday, the sensitivity post was introduced, allowing people to set limits around how much potentially sensitive content they might see on their Explore page. Self-harm content is supposed to be filtered by this, and it’s turned on by default. But the company says that creators shouldn’t worry. The number of sensitive content people sees on their Explore page is already limited by the app, and the default settings retain the filtering. People can now either allow more sensitive content to surface or further limit it.
As per the Instagram spokesperson, because of this change, some users could even see a bump in discoverability if more sensitive content is allowed by people on their Explore page. The change will not impact what users see in their stories or feeds “where we will continue showing them posts from people they follow.”
In the Recommendation Guidelines, the sensitive post is defined by Instagram, which only pertains to content recommended in places like Explore and IGTV Discover and is much broader than its Community Guidelines. The app still allows sensitive content, as opposed to content that violates its Community Guidelines. Still, it is surfaced less frequently by Instagram, particularly for users who set their sensitivity limits to the lowest level. The spokesperson did not specify that at any of the three available settings around how much sensitive content users could expect to see in their Explore page.