Introducing the “Restrict” Feature to Protect Against Bullying

October 02, 2019

Starting today, you can protect your account from unwanted interactions with a new feature called Restrict. Bullying is a complex issue, and we know that young people face a disproportionate amount of online bullying but are reluctant to report or block peers who bully them. Restrict is designed to empower you to quietly protect your account while still keeping an eye on a bully.

You can restrict someone by swiping left on a comment, through the Privacy tab in Settings, or directly on the profile of the account you intend to restrict.

Protecting your account with Restrict

Once Restrict is enabled, comments on your posts from a person you have restricted will only be visible to that person. You can choose to view the comment by tapping “See Comment”; approve the comment so everyone can see it; delete it; or ignore it. You won’t receive any notifications for comments from a restricted account.

Direct messages will automatically move to Message Request, and you will not receive notifications from a restricted account. You can still view the messages but the restricted account will not be able to see when you’ve read their direct messages or when you are active on Instagram. You can choose to “Unrestrict” the account and future messages will go directly to your inbox.

Using creativity to spread positivity

We’re also putting our community’s creativity at the center of our work. We wanted to create a flexible tool that allows young people to speak up, define what’s acceptable in their community and spread positivity on Instagram. Recently, we rolled out a Create Don’t Hate sticker in Stories, calling on our community to share how they use their creative talents to stand up to bullying.

For National Bullying Prevention Month, we’ve partnered with PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center, the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Brazilian community illustrator @leonatsume to bring to life poster ideas developed during our Teen Bullying Prevention Design Workshop this year. These posters will be distributed to thousands of schools and community centers across the US. In the coming weeks, we’ll roll out a global anti-bullying sticker in Stories, inspired by these designs to support anti-bullying initiatives around the world.

We are committed to leading the industry in the fight against online bullying and will continue to build on that commitment long term. We look forward to sharing more updates soon.