Instagram is adding two new anti-harassment tools aimed at cutting down abusive messages you might receive on the platform. Here’s a quick look at how to set them up once they arrive.
Block all accounts a person uses on Instagram
The first feature is a big one, as it lets you block all accounts that belong to a single person and any new accounts that person will ever create. It’s common for jerks to send harmful messages from multiple burner accounts, make new accounts when one gets blocked, or use fake profiles to stalk others. This feature greatly limits a person’s ability to keep trolling, and trolling, and trolling, but you’ll have to wait a bit to unlock it, as it’s rolling out globally over the coming weeks.
When it’s live, simply pull up the Instagram app and head over to the person’s profile that you want to block. Tap the three-dot icon in the upper-right and select “Block,” and then select “Block this person and any new accounts they may create.”
Block abusive direct-message requests
Instagram is also adding a new filter to the app’s Message Requests inbox that automatically removes messages with offensive words or emojis. Filtered messages are moved to a new hidden requests folder where they can be safely ignored if you don’t feel like reading through nasty and/or gross messages from random people. The sender won’t know they’ve been filtered, either.
Instagram says the new filter will launch in “several countries” over the coming weeks, and expand to more locations in the months following.
Once it’s available, you can turn it on in the new “Hidden Words” menu under Settings > Privacy & Safety > Hidden Words. Tap “Hide Messages Requests” to enable the inbox filter. This menu also includes a toggle for the comments filter Instagram released earlier this year.
By default, the message request and comments filters use a list of blocked words created by Instagram and anti-bullying organizations, but you can can tap “Add to List” under Manage Custom Words List to customize the filter.
The new filters and expanded blocking options are the latest in Instagram’s anti-harassment crackdown. You can read more about its anti-harassment policies, view guides for its privacy and security features, and find helpful resources for parents on the company’s official anti-bullying page.