Instagram Introducing Shadow Banning to Deal With Online Bullying

Posted on July 9, 2019 by Mehedi Hassan in Social with 3 Comments

Instagram is introducing some brand new features to keep people safe and protect them from online bullying. Instagram already has a good record of introducing such features to keep users safe from online harassers, and it’s taking further actions to vent users from getting bullied on Instagram.

The first new feature is an interesting AI-powered feature that nudges potential harassers to rethink their actions. When posting a comment, Instagram will ask users if they really want to post a comment if it thinks the comments could be potentially offensive.

The next feature is going to be way more useful, though. It’s called Restrict, and it essentially allows you to shadowban someone on your account. So when someone bullies you or posts offensive comments, you can restrict them and their comments will only show up to you and the person who posted the comment. They won’t be able to tell they have been shadow banned, which is the entire point of the feature. Restricted users will also won’t be able to get read receipts on direct messages, and they won’t be able to dell when you are active on Instagram.

You can also choose to “unrestrict” individual comments from these users, so they show up to everyone, but the rest of their comments will still be restricted.

“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,” said Adam Mosseri, the Head of Instagram. These features do sound really useful for those who are constantly harassed, and could even be used by celebrities and influencers. Though there’s a small chance of these popular users using the Restrict feature to hide criticism from fans and followers.

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Comments (3)

3 responses to “Instagram Introducing Shadow Banning to Deal With Online Bullying”

  1. Thom77

    How many fingers am I holding up, Winston?

    F ..... O .... U ..... R

    Are you sure you would like to post this comment as it might be offensive?

  2. Chris Payne

    I love this feature. Used to have it on an old bulletin board system I built/maintained, we called it "Bozo" instead of Shadow Ban. Because if you're going to act like a bozo, well...

    IMO it's one of the best ways to combat trolls. Let them happily post all they want, thinking they're stirring up trouble. Meanwhile everyone else continues on in peace. I don't know why this isn't available on more social media platforms.

    If I was instagram, I wouldn't even show these posts to the OP. Filter out the chaff.

  3. ahassall

    I use Facebook to keep in touch with family and old classmates. I have never used Instagram and have no interest in starting to use it. I don't understand the point of Shadow Banning in this manner. If someone is bullying or harassing me, why wouldn't I just block them? If I understood from the article above, comments that are Shadow Banned due to bullying or harassment will still get to me. Why would I want to see them? I guess that their comments wouldn't trigger a piling on by others, but if someone is harassing me, why not block them entirely?