How to report Instagram posts as gruesome videos circulate on app
Instagram meme accounts with millions of followers are sharing gory videos containing violence, sexual assault and animal cruelty, according to a report.
In one of the short clips, known as Reels on the social media app, a pig is shown being fed into a meat grinder – a video that has received over 223,000 views.
Others that have been watched tens of thousands of times include a woman who is about to be beheaded with a knife, a man being tortured in a basement, and a woman being sexually assaulted. Dozens more show people being run over by cars and trains, or people getting shot, according to an investigation by the Washington Post.
When approached by the publication, Meta acknowledged the existence of the violent videos and said they represented a small percentage of the platform’s total content. The company added that it was conducting a review of the graphic content as part of its efforts to moderate and remove offensive videos.
“This content is not eligible to be recommended and we remove content that breaks our rules,” a Meta spokesperson. “This is an adversarial space so we’re always proactively monitoring and improving how we prevent bad actors from using new tactics to avoid detection and evade our enforcement.”
How to report posts on Instagram
Meta puts warnings and age restrictions on disturbing content but you can still block and report the accounts responsible for sharing it. These types of reports on the app are anonymous, so people responsible for sharing the content won’t know who reported them.
Click the icon at the top right of the Reel that you want to report. This is the symbol that looks like a parentheses or three dots. It may also appear at the bottom right of a Reel depending on your device.
Next, click report and follow the onscreen instructions. At this point, Instagram will show you a series of options asking for more information about the post, including your reasons for reporting it. These include things like “I don’t like it”, “Bullying or Harassment”, “Violence or Dangerous organisations” and more.
If you choose the violence option, you’ll be given more options regarding the contents of the post, including whether it contains violent threats, animal abuse, death or severe injury, or dangerous organisations or individuals.
You will then be able to press the submit report button. The same steps apply to longer videos on the app.
You can also hide content you don’t like in Instagram Search and the Explore page by tapping the post, pressing the three dots icon and selecting Not Interested. From here, you can also choose to stop seeing posts with certain words or emojis.
A Meta spokesperson said that the company uses a suite of controls and safety features for sensitive content, including demoting posts that contain nudity and sexual themes.