Instagram launches Restrict feature to help stop bullying


Get rid of those nasty comments with Restrict. 

Graphic by Pixabay/Illustration by CNET

A new anti-bullying feature for Instagram launched Wednesday that lets users decide which comments can appear on their posts. This option is an alternative to blocking and came from teenage users of the app. 

Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri explained the feature during an appearance on the Today show on Wednesday. App users can approve or deny comments before they’re posted instead of blocking the person because some say that blocking actually makes the problem worse. 

“We also started to ask them, ‘Why aren’t you using the tools available to you today?'” Mosseri said Wednesday. “‘Why not block someone who’s bullying you?’ And we heard very consistently, particularly from teenagers, often that can escalate the situation.”  

The release of Restrict, which the company has been testing for several months, follows another anti-bullying feature rolled out in July. That feature uses AI to let people know they’re about to post a hurtful comment and to ask if they’re sure they really want to post it. 

Mosseri’s next move to make Instagram a more relaxing experience could be the removal of “likes.” He said the big idea is to make the app feel “less pressurized” so people can spend less time worrying about likes and more time connecting with people or what inspires them. 

During the Today interview, Mosseri also said he agrees with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg that it doesn’t make sense to break up Facebook, which owns Instagram. In audio leaked Tuesday from an internal Facebook meeting, Zuckerberg said he is prepared for a legal battle if Sen. Elizabeth Warren becomes president and attempts to break up massive tech companies like Facebook . 

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