Instagram is rolling out a new tool to automatically filter out abusive DMs

Social media news

Instagram announced a new tool that will allow users to automatically filter out direct message requests containing offensive words, phrases, and emojis. The tool is targeted at celebrities and public figures who receive a large number of unwanted, harmful DMs. The update builds on Instagram’s work to combat hate speech on the platform. In February, the company said it would begin disabling the accounts of users who sent multiple harassing messages. In 2018, the company expanded its offensive comments filter to automatically block comments that attack a person’s appearance or character. The message requests filter can be toggled on or off in a new section of the app called “hidden words.” When it’s on, offensive messages will be pushed to a separate folder. DMs in this folder are concealed, allowing users to browse messages without needing to read what they say. The company says it worked with “leading anti-discrimination and anti-bullying organisations” to come up with a preset list of offensive phrases. Users can also customize their own list based on what they don’t want to see.

Microsoft is reportedly working on a new Windows store

Microsoft is reportedly working on a big overhaul to its app store for Windows. The software maker plans to release an updated store later this year that will be far more open to all types of apps and games. This could pave the way for developers to be able to submit any Windows application to the store, including browsers like Chrome or Firefox, and even allow third-party commerce platforms in apps. Currently, the Windows store (or the Microsoft Store) requires developers to package their win32 apps as an MSIX and use Microsoft’s own update mechanisms and commerce platforms. Microsoft launched its own Windows Package Manager last year, and it quickly became a great option for the hundreds of apps that are missing from the store right now. Apps like Steam, WinRAR, and Zoom don’t exist on the Windows store right now, but they’re available through the Windows Package Manager. Microsoft is said to be planning to bring many of its own apps to this new Windows app store, including Teams, Office, Edge, and Visual Studio. The new store is rumoured to be part of Microsoft’s big “Sun Valley” overhaul to Windows later this year.