As technology advances, so does people’s ability to bully. When I was a kid, I only had to face bullies in school. Living in Los Angeles, it was a vast place that you could be bullied in school and never see them outside of it. Which I was subjected to once or twice in my life. Nowadays, you have people chasing after you on social media or hounding you on your accounts. Instagram Restrict tool is an option to help curb the tactic for people that are uncomfortable with blocking or reporting bullies.
The Instagram Restrict tool works in some ways similar to Facebook’s “unfollow” feature. Restricting another user is simple: all you have to do is swipe left on one of their comments, do it directly via their profile page or go to the Privacy tab in Instagram’s settings. After you’ve enabled “Restrict” on someone’s account, their comments on your posts will only be visible to them. That’s important because, unlike if you block someone, they have no idea that you have basically cut them off.
Much like the “unfollow” feature, the user doesn’t realize that you are no longer seeing their posts, but they still can see you are friends. What some sites don’t understand about the blocking feature, is that teens (at least, persistent little fuckers) will simply make new accounts and continue harassing. Unfortunately, for many bullies, ignoring them makes them madder. When you block them, they know they’re getting under your skin.
According to Instagram, Restrict is about providing an alternative to people who may not feel comfortable outright blocking or reporting an account because of fear of retribution. If you do want to approve a comment from a restricted account, you can tap “See Comment” or just ignore or delete it.
DMs from restricted users are automatically sent to your Message Request inbox, and you won’t get any notifications for them. The restricted sender will not be able to see when you’ve read their direct messages, so you can have some peace of mind there as well. And if you change your mind and want to “Unrestrict” an account, which will make comments from a potential bully public and let their DMs go right to your main inbox, that is an option you’re going to have. Instagram says it knows bullying is a complex issue, but its hope is that features like Restrict can help make its app be a better place.
This option isn’t solely for the use of bullying, but for trolls. People who have different religious or political ideologies. Bullying isn’t just for teenagers anymore. I mean, when you have a political leader that encourages such behavior, what do you expect. The Instagram Restrict tool is a nice feature, but now if Twitter could offer something of a similar option. As well as an “edit” option, that would be great.