In the coming weeks, you might notice that some images on your Instagram feed are blurred. Don't panic, as your phone isn't having some kind of meltdown, rather it's a new measure being rolled out by Instagram to help protect users from seeing sensitive content.
The new update will see a blurred filter placed over photos that have been determined to be "sensitive." This doesn't mean that the images are in violation of Instagram's code of conduct, but that they may contain content that not everybody wants to see on their newsfeed. Once an image has been reported by a user, it will then be checked by a member of the Instagram team who will ultimately determine if the content is sensitive or not.
The Verge explains that to begin with the filter will be placed over photos that depict violence. A rep for Instagram told the site, "Examples include animal rights groups that share content to expose animal testing conditions or animal abuse, or content that raises awareness of humanitarian crises around the world (famine, impact of war on local communities)." The change "means you are less likely to have surprising or unwanted experiences in the app." The images deemed sensitive by the community will also have a message letting users know that the content has been reported as disturbing or offensive. If you come across an image with the filter that you'd like to see, all you have to do is tap the image to see the content.
Instagram also announced the launch of Instagram Together, a new website that gives user tips on how to block unwanted accounts and remove followers among other things.
This new update is the latest in a long string from Instagram to make the app a safer place for users. In October it introduced the anonymous report function to help users send a message of support to a friend/family member/follower they thought might be having a tough time, and in December the app announced new updates to the comments section whereby users could turn off commenting on a particular post to help curb trolls.