Rachel Riley lifts lid on vile Instagram messages: 'If they did it on the streets, they'd be arrested'

The Countdown star said the messages "turn her stomach"

Published

Rachel Riley has hit out at indecent messages she has received on Instagram, urging the social media site to do more “to keep women safe”.

The Countdown star said the messages “turn her stomach” and “make her not want to go into her DMs”.

Riley said: “It really makes me not want to go into my DMs at all because it’s revolting.

“It’s astounding to know that strangers are sending porn – it empowers them to know that it’s gone to your inbox.

“On Instagram, anyone can privately send you something that should be illegal. If they did it on the street, they’d be arrested.”

Rachel Riley
Rachel Riley
Riley has urged Instagram to do more “to keep women safe”
Riley has urged Instagram to do more “to keep women safe”

She added: “For women in the public eye, receiving a constant stream of rude, inappropriate and even abusive messages to your DMs is unfortunately inevitable, and the fact that this happens away from public view makes it all the more intrusive.

“Instagram and other platforms have a duty to keep the women who use their sites safe, but at the moment there isn’t enough being done to protect them.”

Her comments come after she and several other high-profile women, including Amber Heard, took part in a study based around their social media.

The report, carried out by the Centre for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH), found nine in ten abusive messages received by the accounts failed to act on any image-based sexual abuse within 48 hours.

CCDH’s new research found that Instagram "systematically fails to remove accounts which violate its rules".

In response to the research, Cindy Southworth, the head of women’s safety at Meta, the company who owns Instagram, said: “While we disagree with many of the CCDH’s conclusions, we do agree that the harassment of women is unacceptable.

"That’s why we don’t allow gender-based hate or any threat of sexual violence, and last year we announced stronger protections for female public figures.

“Messages from people you don’t follow go to a separate request inbox where you can either block or report the sender, or you can turn off message requests altogether.

"Calls from people you don’t know only go through if you accept their message request and we offer a way to filter abusive messages so you never have to see them.”