Cyberbullying is an issue that more and more teens are dealing with. A 2018 Pew study shows that over 59% of teens have been harassed or bullied online. Instagram has just rolled out a new ‘Restrict’ feature to help protect users from bullies.
The new feature gives users the ability to make a bad comment invisible so that no one except the user and the commenter can see it.
Blocking a user could mean the bullying gets worse, and that’s why Instagram says restricting a user is a more subtle way to avoid bullying.
The ‘Restrict’ feature also helps users monitor bullying behavior. If the restricted person comments on the user’s posts again, the user will be able to choose whether they want to read the comment.
“If social media companies can make it easier for us to ignore or block people who are saying mean, rude things — without the other person knowing that we’re doing that — that’s probably a positive way that they can contribute to this issue,” said Pam Clasgens, Community Awareness & Prevention Director at the National Children’s Advocacy Center. “Bullying is the same now as it used to be. It’s always about relationships between kids, and it’s about teaching all of our children to be kind to each other and to be tolerant, and sometimes the best policy is if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all. If we’re all teaching our kids that, then we’re going to have kinder children.”
The National Children’s Advocacy Center offers information to help parents protect and educate their kids about cyberbullying: https://www.nationalcac.org/for-kids/