Instagram Tightens Unsolicited Messages to Curb Abuse

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Facebook Inc. is beefing up tools on its photo sharing app Instagram to combat harassment and hate speech in private messaging and comments.

Instagram announced Wednesday it will let users hide direct message requests that contain offensive words, phrases or emojis. All direct message requests from a predefined list will automatically be filtered into a separate hidden requests folder, according to the company.

Instagram said people also will be given the option to preemptively block any new accounts being created by a user they have already blocked. The feature will be available globally in the next few weeks, Instagram said.

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