Cyberbullying is a very real problem. According to a study performed by nonprofit Ditch the Label, over one in five teenagers are being bullied on Instagram. Fortunately, Instagram has set up some great parental controls so you can block and report cyberbullies on platform.
Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, says the company wants to be proactive when it comes to bullying and harassment. They are toying with a feature that would warn users to think twice before posting a negative comment. They’re also looking to give users the power to manage their interactions with others. For example, instead of completely blocking an entire account,a user could simply specify what type of content they want to limit from another user, such as comments or posts only.
In the future, Mosseri continued, we might see an “away mode.” This would let Instagram users who are going through a rough patch disconnect from notifications and return to their account when they feel ready. Instagram is also working on ways to lessen the feeling of competition; soon, the platform might hide the number of likes on posts.
That said, users do have some great tools at their disposal right now.
Blocking or Reporting Cyberbullies on Instagram
Here’s how to block and report someone on the Instagram app.
- ON A POST
- Tap the three dots on the upper right-hand side of the screen.
- Tap Report. Mark Spam if they are trying to scam or sell you something. Mark It’s Inappropriate if you think it’s not something a child should see.
- ON A PROFILE
- Tap the three dots to the right of the user’s profile name
- You can Block them from your child’s feed, Report them to Instagram if they are bullying or posting inappropriate material, or just Mute them if you don’t want to see their posts.
The user will not receive a notification when you block them; they will also no longer be able to find or view your account.
Control the Comments You See on Instagram
- Go to your profile.
- Tap the three lines in the upper right-hand corner.
- Tap Settings at the very bottom of the screen.
- Tap Privacy and Security, then Comment Controls.
- From there, you have a number of options. You can block comments from certain people, automatically hide offensive comments, or manually enter words that you want to blacklist.
Encourage your Instagram-using kids to tell you immediately if anyone makes them feel unsafe online. A few rude comments here and there shouldn’t be a big cause for concern; in fact, it can be good life practice for your kids to learn how to respond. But if someone is repeatedly targeting your child, stress to them that it’s time to come to you.
Cyberbullying is a real problem, but it doesn’t have to be. Educate your kids on how to keep themselves safe on social media and they’ll have the tools to manage any cruel comments they might come across.