Instagram this week introduced a new ‘Restrict’ feature to help protect users from “unwanted interactions” on the app.
Bullying is a big issue on social networks these days, with young users facing “a disproportionate amount of online bullying” but also “reluctant to report or block peers who bully them.” Instagram’s new ‘Restrict’ feature allows them to quietly protect their account, while at the same time being able to monitor an online bully.
To restrict someone, all you have to do is swipe left on a comment, do it through the Privacy tab in Settings, or directly on their profile. When Restrict is enabled, comments on posts from someone you have restricted will only be visible to them. You can also choose to see the comment by tapping “See Comment;” approve it so that everyone can see it; delete it, or simply ignore it.
Furthermore, you will not get any notifications for comments or anything else that has come from an account you have restricted, and Direct messages from the account will automatically move to Message Request. The best part? While you can still see the messages, the restricted account won’t be able to tell when you’ve read them, or even when you are active on Instagram.
Just “Unrestrict” the account to be able to receive messages in your inbox again.
Instagram says it wanted to create “a flexible tool” to help young people speak up and feel safe – while defining “what’s acceptable in their community – and spread positivity.” The platform recently rolled out a new “Create Don’t Hate sticker” in Instagram Stories, as a rallying call for the community to stand up against bullying.]
Finally, for National Bullying Prevention Month, Instagram has partnered with PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center, the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, and Brazilian community illustrator @leonatsume.
In the next few weeks, a new global anti-bullying sticker will roll out in Stories, inspired by the designs created through the partnership. Expect further related updates soon.