How Kanye West and Kim Kardashian’s Feud With Taylor Swift Changed Instagram’s Anti-Harassment Policies

No more snakes! Kanye West and Kim Kardashian‘s feud with Taylor Swift helped Instagram evolve its anti-harassment policies.

Kim Kardashian, Kanye West and Taylor Swift
Kim Kardashian, Kanye West and Taylor Swift Larry Busacca/MTV1617/Getty Images for MTV; Steve Granitz/WireImage

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Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom revealed in a new profile in Wired magazine that he and his team quietly developed a filter that automatically deletes specific words and emojis from users’ feeds. The feature was created on the heels of West, Kardashian and Swift’s July 2016 beef, which was sparked by West’s single “Famous.”

The drama began when the Keeping Up With the Kardashians star, 36, claimed in a GQ interview that the infamous “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex / Why? I made that bitch famous” line in her husband’s song had been approved by Swift, 27. The “Shake It Off” singer denied the claim, and her rep told Us Weekly in a statement at the time that Swift “cautioned [West] about releasing a song with such a strong misogynistic message.”

Taylor Swift, Kanye West and Kim Kardashian attend the 57th Annual Grammy Awards at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on February 8, 2015.
Taylor Swift, Kanye West and Kim Kardashian attend the 57th Annual Grammy Awards at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on February 8, 2015. Larry Busacca/Getty Images for NARAS

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Kardashian responded on Snapchat, where she released snippets of recordings of a phone call between West, 40, and Swift. The former country singer could be heard approving some of the lyrics, even saying they were “like a compliment.” However, she later pointed out on Instagram that she was not informed of the controversial “that bitch” line.

As Kardashian’s videos quickly went viral, she tweeted that it just so happened to be National Snake Day, which led fans to flood Swift’s Instagram comments section with snake emojis.

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That’s where Instagram came in. The photo-sharing app quietly rolled out a feature that September that allowed users to “hide inappropriate comments” hand-picked by the company. Users could also add custom keywords or emojis, such as the snake.

The Wired profile also reveals that West’s lyrics were used to test a Facebook system known as DeepText, which helps computers identify inappropriate language. “Famous” was one of the songs used while experimenting with the feature.

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