IG has released Instagram Restrict to combat internet trolls, and protect account owners and other users from Insta-bullies. Since 2016, Instagram has either discreetly or openly introduced several spam/comment filters to contain trolls.
For brands and businesses alike, this is a welcome development. It is one of the ways to ensure a smooth customer journey and positive customer experience with your brand; one without internet trolls bugging other customers.
Instagram Restrict is a precautionary measure designed to enable users and brands like yours to shield themselves from unwanted interactions, harassment and cyberbullying on the photo-video-sharing platform.
In this article, you will discover what IG Restrict is, why it was introduced and finally, some benefits of Instagram Restrict to businesses like yours, but first
What is Instagram Restrict?
Instagram Restrict allows account owners to restrict offensive or abusive comments on posts/comments. It is designed to quietly filter out unwanted comments and “shadow-ban” trolls by restricting and ghosting their comments.
According to Instagram, you can easily restrict a troll’s account by swiping left on the comment of the troll, through your Privacy tab in Settings, or directly on the troll’s profile.
After you’ve restricted a user, their comments will be visible to just them and only visible to you and your followers when you tap “See Comment,” after which you can delete the comment or ignore it.
Also, as an account owner, there are no notifications received by you when they comment on your post. Direct messages from a restricted account are also moved to your message request, without you being notified.
The Restrict feature also prevents a restricted account from knowing when you read their messages or when you’re active on the platform. It also allows you to “Unrestrict” a user.
Reasons Why Instagram Introduced Instagram Restrict
According to the anti-bullying charity Ditch the Label, over 5.43 million young people living in the UK have experienced cyberbullying with 1.26 million experiencing extreme cyberbullying daily.
Also, 7% of young users highlighted Instagram as the social network where they were being bullied. This is compared to 6% for Facebook, 5% for Snapchat and 2% for YouTube and Twitter.
On October 10, 2012; Amanda Michelle Todd, a 15-year-old Canadian student, and victim of cyberbullying hung herself in her home. This incident received widespread media coverage and is just one of many cases of cyberbullying.
Instagram aims to create a safe online experience for all users on its platform. A place where all users; brands inclusive can interact with each other without the fear of bullies.
Benefits of Instagram Restrict for Businesses, Brands, Users
Protects your Brand’s Reputation.
Instagram Restrict protects your brand reputation by shielding you from cyberbullies who mischievously leave bad reviews about your business, products or services. Fake bad reviews, misinformation, and lies targeted at your business by trolls pose a threat. They discredit you in the eyes of potential customers visiting your page or post for the first time.
The potential loss of trust and gain of bad reputation from this unwarranted attack can have far-reaching effects on your business, including loss of customers and patronage. Only posts from verified purchases should be approved. Similarly, brands must not abuse this by review-gating or blocking real but “unfavorable” feedback or reviews. This will be seen as censoring and will backfire.
Power to Filter Comments
With Instagram Restrict, businesses like yours can now control the type of comments allowed on posts. It allows you to restrict users who habitually leave bad comments or bad mouth your business in the comment section of your posts.
This AI-powered comment filter will ensure that only verified and approved comments go through, removing negative energy before it ever has the chance to spread. This saves your customer service team the headache of dealing with determined and certified internet trolls. Time saved from containing trolls can be invested in helping other more genuine customers.
Shield Followers from Being Bullied by Trolls.
Instagram Restrict also gives business owners like you the ability to protect your valued followers from the abusive comments of bullies. This could be in the form of body shaming, hate speech, or any other offensive words used by a bully on your follower.
Sometimes, some followers see the need to defend you against trolls, which doesn’t go down well with bullies. They could fight back, and attack your followers, causing tension and unease in your profile, which could result in neutral parties leaving. With Instagram Restrict you can now check this kind of unruly online behavior, sustain engagement and shield your followers from trolls.
Eliminates the Awkwardness of Blocking a Troll/Deleting their Comments.
Sometimes it feels awkward to block or delete a troll. They could have been genuine customers with genuine complaints, who have evolved into one-time or occasional trolls. If you block them outrightly, you could lose a valuable customer who feels they’re expressing their angst. But by restricting them, identifying the root cause of their anger issues with your brand, and fixing them, you could address their trollism.
For the die-hard troll, Instagram Restrict tricks them by keeping them oblivious of their restrict status. In this case, they’re unaware that their comments are not visible to you and your followers. This is definitely better than blocking trolls or deleting their comments as they can always call you out for blocking them with another account or make other offensive comments if their comments are deleted by you.
Reduce Troll Comments
Trolls like most narcissists hate being ignored. By making their hate comments invisible to all but them, Instagram Restrict makes trolls feel awkward when no one responds to them. Effectively ghosted, ignored, silenced, seen but unheard, they eventually rethink their manners.
Instagram’s comment filters give commenters a chance to rethink their posts by asking if they want to review their comments or proceed to post. This has been proven to make some people rethink and edit their comments, and also shows that trolls know what they’re doing. Don’t let them get away with it, checkmate them with Instagram Restrict.
Creating and maintaining a safe, conducive and healthy online experience for your brand and followers is key to business survival and growth. Trolls attack users and the sense of community that social media seeks to foster and further.
Don’t let trolls take “con-troll” of your business’ Instagram profile. Stay in charge and be the best comment moderator other customers expect you to be.
Amos Onwukwe is an AWAI trained Business and Ecommerce Copywriter who also covers Tech and Social Media. When not writing, he’s thinking of writing or making music. He’s been featured in Huffington Post, Dumb Little Man, Ecommerce Nation, eCommerce Insights, Understanding Ecommerce, Result First, Floship, GrowMap, Self Growth, among others.