Instagram: Brand New Feature Restricts Bullies Stealthily


Once again, Instagram is up and about, protecting its users against bullies and the cruel act of online bullying. Recently, the company released two latest anti-bullying features: one is the capacity to “prevent” certain individuals from publicly commenting on your account and the second is a notification when you post hateful comments. Instagram says that they are working on releasing the latest notification labels since April. Clearly, these two features do not restrict users from posting mean and negative things, but it will give them the warning to reassess what they are planning to comment before posting it. A notice that says, “Are you sure you want to post this?” will appear before users post anything. Instagram wanted people to think thoroughly about the words they say online since it can greatly impact one’s self-esteem and mental health.

Brand new notifications and features

These notifications have been appearing in the app ever since last week. In fact, Adam Mosseri, Instagram’s chief posted on his blog that their early dry run for this future detail in their app has garnered positive results among users. It inspired certain individuals to erase their negative comments and alter it into something positive. Mosseri also added that people are now sharing less hurtful things since they were given the chance to rethink what they wrote – though he didn’t add specifics on the effectiveness of the notification labels. Aside from this, Instagram also added a brand-new “restrict” button that may benefit a lot of users, especially those that are facing online harassment and bullying in their profile. Basically, restrict is a common ground between doing nothing and blocking. This latest feature is available in selected countries for now, but it will soon be available in other countries later this year, Instagram announced.



Once you appoint a certain person as “restricted,” their comments won’t be visible to you and them, unless you decide to approve it. Unlike blocking which notifies the person when you block them, the “restricted” feature won’t show any signs that their comments are being screened – except if they have a first account where they can view a specific post using a different account. Moreover, users who are in your restricted list won’t be able to tell if you are online or if you view their direct messages. According to Mosseri, this is a helpful and smart feature since blocking someone can worsen the situation and make it hard for the user, who is experiencing bullying or harassment to find out the things that are being said to them.

The problem with bullying

Bullying has been a notorious problem in photo-sharing apps such as Instagram, especially among teens. As a matter of fact, a survey in 2018 determined that bullying was more common on Instagram compared to Snapchat, where private conversations circulate, and on Facebook, where users are required to expose their real names. Instagram is planning on establishing more improvement and bully-free features such as hiding the number of likes and developing an “away mode” wherein users could take a social medial break from their account.K