Instagram is rolling out a new feature that allows you to stealthily filter out comments from cyberbullies. The new tool, called Restrict, attempts to safeguard Instagram accounts from harassment by making comments invisible to followers without the poster knowing. The process — also known as “shadow banning ” — leaves cyberbullies thinking they’re doling out a social media skewering when they’re actually typing into the void.
Instagram is implementing the filter for users who are hesitant to publicly block people out of fear of reprisal. It was first tested among a small pool of users, but will be made available to everyone. “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,” said Instagram in announcing the filter. “Restrict is designed to empower you to quietly protect your account while still keeping an eye on the bully.”
To enable Restrict, Instagrammers can swipe left on an unsavory comment, or they can activate it via the Privacy tab or on the offender’s profile page. A comment will then only be visible to the user, who can make a restricted post appear again by clicking “see comment.” The feature also applies to unwanted DMs.
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