Instagram now lets users quietly restrict online bullies

The 'Restrict' feature first introduced earlier this summer is now available to all users on Instagram. The feature enables users to quietly restrict other users on the platform, reducing their presence on the user's account without alerting them to the fact that any actions were taken. In addition to hiding comments, messages from restricted users are sent to a hidden inbox and more.

Instagram's Restrict feature first arrived in July as a limited test only available to some users. The tool is fairly straightforward: it is essentially a shadowban function for individual Instagram users and it is primarily targeted at the teenagers who face bullying from peers on the platform.

As Instagram previously explained, blocking bullies on Instagram may increase the amount of bullying a teenager faces in real life. For that reason, the new Restrict feature doesn't alert a user when they have been restricted; as well, restricted users will still see the comments they publish on posts, meaning they won't suspect they've been restricted.

However, users will not see comments published by restricted accounts; instead, they'll see a link that enables them to make the comment visible if they want to see it. In addition, any direct messages received from restricted accounts will automatically go into the user's 'Messages Received' inbox, ensuring these potentially abusive messages aren't appearing in with the user's main DMs.

Users won't receive alerts when a restricted account comments on their posts or sends them direct messages. Assuming the user chooses to manually open and read a direct message from a restricted account, that restricted user won't be alerted to the fact that their content was viewed. Users, of course, maintain the option of unrestricting an account at any time.