How to Block Instagram Bullies Without Them Knowing
Teens and teenagers had the opportunity to leave their bullies in school hallways at the end of the day; but now that social media and smartphones prevail, they take their bullies with them wherever they go.
Social media and cyberbullying go hand in hand, leading to an increase in depression and anxiety among teens. And they can feel caught by their bullies even on screen. Blocking an unwanted user is certainly an option, but as Fast Company points out, blocking a bully on social media can backfire and make things worse:
Obviously, when a user blocks a person on their social network account, that person is aware of this, and the action the user took to protect themselves online could lead to even more intimidation, for example, in the user’s school halls, if they and bully go to the same high school.
However, simply ignoring them may seem impossible when they constantly appear in the comments of your posts for everyone to see you, or are quickly sending you messages. So Instagram has come up with a new anti-bullying tactic that it launched this week: the “Limit” option. When the dash echoes the phrase “you are such a loser,” you can swipe left over the comment, click on the exclamation mark, and then “Limit.” (You can also restrict a user from the Privacy tab in Settings or directly from the user’s account profile.)
Once a user is restricted, his comments will only be visible to him. You will be able to see that they made a new comment, but you will need to click View Comment for it to actually appear, making it much easier to ignore. You can also approve it so everyone can see it, or delete it. (Of course, to do any of this, you need to update your app first.)
Direct messages from a restricted account will now go to Request a Message and you can read them, but they won’t be able to see when and if you did. You can also cancel them at any time.
It certainly won’t eradicate cyberbullying entirely, but it is another tool that kids and parents can use to feel empowered to protect their accounts and get rid of some hate speech.