Olivia Harvey
October 04, 2019 11:04 am

On October 2nd, Instagram announced the launch of a brand new feature called Restrict, which reportedly protects users from cyberbullying. According to a blogpost on Instagram’s Info Center, Restrict was designed to “empower you to quietly protect your account while still keeping an eye on a bully,” and it sounds like the platform may have just changed for the better.

Because an Instagram user knows when another user has blocked them, Instagram designed Restrict to be a discreet alternative to blocking. In theory, this should help cut down on the blowback from blocking someone and hopefully prevent future bullying.

There are three different ways to enable the Restrict function: a user can swipe left on a hurtful comment, access Restrict through Privacy & Settings, or enable the Restrict feature directly on someone’s profile. Once enabled, the Restrict function will make comments from a restricted user invisible to the public. However, both the person on the receiving end and the person commenting will able to see the comment in question.

Therefore, the bully will have no idea that they have been restricted.

Furthermore, a user who enables Restrict on a specific person also has options when it comes to filtering certain comments. They can either approve, delete, or ignore comments from restricted users. And Instagram users won’t be notified when a restricted user comments on their posts.

Nor will they receive notifications about direct messages from a restricted user. These DMs will automatically move into your Message Requests folder, where they can still be viewed privately, without the restricted person knowing if you’ve read the message or not.

The implementation of Restrict is part of Instagram’s commitment to stop cyberbullying, which was put into motion in July 2019 when the platform began using AI to filter negative comments and ask commenters if they really want to post a hurtful message.

Restrict, which is already available for use on the platform, has put the power back in the hands of the person who may be being bullied. And we have a feeling this feature will help mold the platform into a much more positive space.

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