Abuse has always been a problem on the internet. In most cases, attackers can retain full anonymity, and never face the consequences of their actions. This is especially common on social media, but Instagram is trying to stay one step ahead. Starting today, a new option in the Instagram settings allows users to hide offensive or inappropriate comments.
The new setting can be enabled by opening the account settings, and scrolling to 'Comment Settings.' If the feature is rolled out to you, you'll see a new 'Hide Offensive Comments' switch. It appears to replace the existing 'Hide Inappropriate Comments' switch, which likely used a basic blocklist.
The feature works on both normal posts and live video, but will only block inappropriate messages in English for now. It uses machine learning, so it should improve over time. This appears to be a server-side change, so it's not entirely clear what version of the Instagram app you'll need to enable it.