Unsolicited nude photos are a big problem on social media, but Instagram is reportedly working on a tool that could help. An early screenshot tweeted by researcher Alessandro Paluzzi indicates that the “Nudity Protection” technology “covers photos that may contain nudity in chat”, giving users the option to see them or not. Instagram parent Meta confirmed that the edge which is in development.

Meta said the goal is to help protect people from nude images or other unsolicited messages. As an added protection, the company said you can’t view the images or share them with third parties. “We’re working closely with experts to ensure these new features preserve people’s privacy, while giving them control over the messages they receive,” a spokesperson said. He plans to share more details in the coming weeks ahead of any testing.

The new feature is similar to the “Hidden Words” tool launched last year, Meta added. That feature allows users to filter abusive messages in DM requests based on keywords. If a request contains any filter words you’ve chosen, it’s automatically placed in a hidden folder that you can choose never to open, though it’s not completely removed.

The feature is welcome, but it’s long overdue, as unwanted nude photos were largely ignored by social media companies and are now a widespread problem. A study conducted in 2020 by the University College of London found that of 150 young people between the ages of 12 and 18, 75.8 percent had been sent unsolicited nude images.

Sending unwanted nude photos, also known as “cyberflashing,” has been targeted in multiple jurisdictions, including California and the United Kingdom. In the UK, it could become a criminal offense If he online security bill is approved by parliament. California didn’t get that far, but last month, the state legislature and senate voted unanimously to allow users to sue for unsolicited nude photos and other sexually graphic material.

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