It's designed to keep you from having unwanted interactions in the app. Instagram continues to expand its efforts to combat harassment. A few months after it started testing its "Restrict" tool with a small group of users, the company is now rolling it out to everyone.
The functionality, designed to protect your profile from inappropriate experiences, makes it easy for you to screen out users in the app that might annoy you. Instagram hopes the new anti-bullying platform can be helpful to those who are reluctant to report or block bullies, especially young people, because Restrict provides them with a subtle way of hindering any trouble folk.
It ensures that comments from users that you filter will not appear on your posts publicly (unless you authorize them), and they will not be able to see when you are online or read their direct messages. Restricting another user is simple: just swipe left on one of their posts, do it directly from their profile page, or go to the Instagram settings Privacy section. Upon allowing "Restrict" on someone's profile, they will only see their feedback on your entries.
That's crucial because, unlike banning someone, they don't realize you've cut them off essentially. Also, according to Instagram, Restrict is about providing an alternative for users who may not feel comfortable deleting an account outright or recording it for fear of retribution. You can either press "See Comment or just ignore it or delete it if you want to accept a post from a limited account.
Meanwhile, DMs are immediately sent to your Message Request inbox from limited users so you won't get any updates for them. As mentioned earlier, if you read their direct messages, the limited recipient will not be able to see, so you can also have some peace of mind there.
And if you change your mind and want an account that will make comments from a possible abuser public and let their DMs go straight to your main inbox, that's an opportunity you'll have. Instagram notes that harassment is a complex issue, but its goal is that apps such as Restrict will help make it a better place for its users.
Restrict's release follows a series of tools that Instagram has been exploring in recent months to counter bullying and harassment, including a redesign that uses artificial intelligence to warn people against leaving comments that might be hurtful on posts from others.
In fact, as part of the National Harassment Prevention Week, Instagram said it will partner with producers during October to raise anti-bullying awareness and "educate young people on important issues." Just last week, it debuted Jonah Hill's Instagram TV series which tackles harassment–a subject that has tripled since Adam Mosseri took over.