Amber Heard, other women, open up about abusive and sexually explicit messages sent to their DMs all the time


Being a celebrity is a tricky thing. While many grow up dreaming of being a famous actor, having that type of notoriety certainly has its downsides. Amber Heard knows this all too well, because she and her ex-husband Johnny Depp keep making headlines about their divorce and legal battle. Now Heard and other women spoke out about abusive and sexually explicit messages sent to their DMs all the time.

Social media can be a lousy place, especially when it comes to spam. A group of women in the UK, including Amber Heard, recently contributed to a new study on how Instagram handles abusive direct messages, particularly unsolicited nudes and pornography. The group has submitted thousands of DMs, which are probably just a drop in the ocean for public figures like Heard. The Aquaman star also provided a comment on this via Entrance storewhich reads as follows:

If I can’t use this tool, if I can’t open Instagram, if I can’t engage at all, then what does that say about a person who doesn’t have the emotional resources that I have, that come with age and experience?

She scores a point. While Amber Heard has received all sorts of inappropriate messages in her DMs, she’s at least one mature adult who could get help if she needed it. But for younger or less experienced women, it’s unclear how online harassment can affect them emotionally.

While nude photos are the butt of countless jokes and memes, receiving such images without asking for them can certainly be a shocking experience. And for public figures like Amber Heard and the women who participated in this recent study of the Digital Hate Centerthey received thousands of obscene messages on Insta.

For their part, the powers that be on Instagram have their own take on sexually explicit DMs and the new study Amber Heard participated in. Cindy Southworth, head of women’s safety at Meta, posted a comment during the Input story. As she said:

We agree that harassment of women is unacceptable. That’s why we don’t allow gender-based hatred or any threat of sexual violence, and last year we announced stronger protections for female public figures. Messages from people you don’t follow are sent to a separate request inbox where you can either block or report the sender or disable message requests altogether. Calls from people you don’t know are only answered if you accept their message request, and we provide a way to filter out abusive messages so you never have to see them.

Good, you have it now. This is because the DMs of Instagram users you don’t actually follow are sent to another mailbox, which could easily be ignored or deleted. This is what Cindy Southworth and the folks at Meta seem to think is a built-in solution for spam. Although it might even be difficult to parse these messages if you are a celebrity, given the volume of DMs.

Amber Heard will likely receive a ton of extra messages during her legal battle with Johnny Depp stands trial (and is televised). Plus, her continued role as Mera in the DCEU Aquaman in the Lost Kingdom should turn a few heads – especially because some fans campaigned for her To be replaced.

Aquaman 2 hits theaters on March 17, 2023. In the meantime, check out the 2022 movie release dates to plan your next cinematic experience.


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