Instagram aims to tackle bullying on its platform with new 'restrict' feature

 Comments
Instagram aims to tackle bullying on its platform with new 'restrict' feature
Text size Aa Aa

Instagram has announced new measures aimed to tackle bullying on its platform.

As of this week, if a user types a comment that is identified by artificial intelligence (AI) as offensive, they will get a chance to reflect and undo their post.

Once you have clicked to post potentially offensive content, users are asked: “Are you sure you want to post this?”

A blue timeline runs down giving several seconds to cancel a comment should the user wish to do so.

Upon clicking undo, the comment won't be posted, and the potential recipient will not receive a notification.

Referring to results from testing its latest feature, the tech giant claims that it encouraged some to go back on sending hurtful comments.

View this post on Instagram

From the head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri (@mosseri): “We know bullying is a challenge many face, particularly young people. We are committed to leading the industry in the fight against online bullying, and we are rethinking the whole experience of Instagram to meet that commitment. We can do more to prevent bullying from happening on Instagram, and we can do more to empower the targets of bullying to stand up for themselves. Today we’re announcing one new feature in both areas. 💙 Encouraging Positive Interactions In the last few days, we started rolling out a new feature powered by AI that notifies people when their comment may be considered offensive before it’s posted. This intervention gives people a chance to reflect and undo their comment and prevents the recipient from receiving the harmful comment notification. 🧡 Protecting Your Account From Unwanted Interactions With Restrict We wanted to create a feature that allows people to control their Instagram experience, without notifying someone who may be targeting them. Soon, we will begin testing a new way to protect your account from unwanted interactions called Restrict. 💛 It’s our responsibility to create a safe environment on Instagram. This has been an important priority for us for some time, and we are continuing to invest in better understanding and tackling this problem.” 💗 To learn more about these new updates, click the link in our bio. Artwork by @heysp

A post shared by Instagram (@instagram) on

In their blog post, Instagram report that young people tend to be reluctant to block or unfollow users online, even in instances of bullying. To tackle this, the social media company is also introducing a new feature coined 'restrict', which will allow users to limit contact with others on the platform without the latter being aware.

Once you have restricted a user, they will be unable to check when you are active on the site, nor will they see when you have read their direct messages. If the restricted user comments on your post, only they will be able to see their comment.

"It’s our responsibility to create a safe environment on Instagram," the Head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, said in a blog post.

"This has been an important priority for us for some time and we are continuing to invest in better understanding and tackling this problem," he added.

Click on the player above where Rosie Wright in The Cube details more.

Want more news?