Last week, Instagram rolled out Restrict, a new feature that will help its users stand against bullies and trolls on the app. The update, which has been testing since July, was first announced at the Facebook F8 conference in April 2019.
Starting today you can protect your account from unwanted interactions with a new feature called Restrict. This is just one of the ways we’re empowering our community to stand up to bullying. https://t.co/65WJuAOdON pic.twitter.com/WOaNnsJC1y
— Instagram (@instagram) October 2, 2019
Over time, there have been stories of people who have been bullied on various social media platforms. In a bid to curb this on its platform, Instagram designed the feature to protect users’ accounts from unwanted interactions and make it easy for them to discreetly ‘mute’ people who verbally attack them.
Once an account has been restricted, the comments from the restricted account won’t show up publicly on the user’s post unless approved; this comment will only be visible to the person who posted it.
Also, the owner of the restricted account won’t be able to see when the user is active or has read their direct messages as they will automatically get sent to the user’s Message Request inbox, without any notifications being received.
Quite unlike what happens when an account is blocked, a restricted user has no idea what has happened. However, if users tap ‘See Comment’ on a post, they have the option to remove the restriction. All they need do is approving it so it is visible to the public.
To restrict comments on an Android device, tap the comment, tap the first icon on the top right, and tap the restrict button. While on an iPhone, simply swipe left on the comment and tap restrict. On both devices, a restriction can be carried out using the ‘Privacy tab’ in the apps’ settings.
In other news, Instagram has removed its Following tab, which allowed users to see exactly what other people liked and who they followed. As things stand, followers are no longer able to access a whole page of other people’s Instagram activity.
With the recent application updates, it appears Instagram is motivating its users, especially young adults, to oppose bullying and stand up for themselves.
Woman in Tech | I write about social media and internet culture | Photography enthusiast.