What Happens When You Restrict Someone on Instagram
Social media can give us great insight into other people’s lives. While it’s a useful tool for keeping up with friends, its access can easily become a problem. Some people abuse the anonymity of the online environment to harass others.
If you’ve been dealing with such harassment on Instagram and are looking for a way to curb it, the “restrict” function might be able to help you. Here’s what you need to know about this tool and what happens when you restrict someone on Instagram.
What Is the Restrict Function?
Instagram released the “restrict” function in 2019 to combat cyberbullying and cultivate a more positive community. Cyberbullying has been a prevalent issue on the platform. Using the restriction feature is only one of the tools one can use against bullies or unwanted interactions.
Essentially, you can use this feature to limit someone’s access to your account subtly. This tool is designed to render the bully’s efforts at causing embarrassment fruitless. At the same time, you can avoid a direct confrontation that can escalate the problem further.
For instance, if someone has been relentlessly leaving rude comments under each of your posts, restricting that user can nip the issue in the bud. The restriction will also keep your direct messaging space safe from their unwanted calls and messages. However, you will still be able to interact with the user you’ve restricted when you choose to do so.
Thanks to its discreet nature, a restriction can be used for purposes other than harassment management, too. You can use it to deal with overeager followers or relatives who shower you with embarrassing comments.
What Happens When You Restrict Someone on Instagram?
Here are the changes you can expect upon tapping the “restrict” button on someone’s profile:
- Their messages will move into your message requests.
Whether or not you are following each other, restricting a user will redirect their messages into your “message requests” folder. This also includes their replies to your stories. You can find your requests in the top right corner of your direct message folder.
Under message requests, you won’t receive notifications about any new messages the person may send you. However, you will still be able to view their messages if you choose. Even if you view them, the sender will not be notified. Read receipts will be hidden, as they normally are in message requests until you accept them.
If you want to reply to the restricted person, you must remove the restriction.
- Your activity status is hidden from them.
Usually, when both parties have their “Active status” turned on, a green dot will signal when your conversation partner is online and vice versa. Besides the bubble, you will also see when exactly they were last active. If this makes you feel uncomfortable, you can hide your activity status from all users by simply turning this feature off. However, as a result, you won’t be able to see anyone else’s status either.
You can continue using this feature and hide your activity from unwanted users at the same time by restricting them.
- Their comments under your posts are hidden by default.
Finally, restricting a user will also hide their comments on your posts from the public. They will be able to comment normally, but their comment will only be visible to them unless you decide otherwise. You won’t receive notifications about their comments, either.
You can view their comment by tapping “See comment” underneath the hidden comment. You may tap “Approve” or “Delete” or simply ignore the comment from that point on.
If you’ve been consistently dealing with unwanted comments and the issue doesn’t pertain to one or two users alone, other solutions are available. Hide offensive comments automatically through the “Hidden Words” menu or create your own custom list of unwanted words. Choose who can comment on your posts or limit activity for a certain period until things cool down.
What Remains the Same?
As said, a restricted user will still be able to send you messages and write comments under your posts, albeit with more provision. More importantly, they will still see all your content normally—your new feed posts, stories, Reels, the accounts you are following, etc. They can like your content, and their likes will remain visible to other users. Additionally, you will see their content like usual and can interact with it. If you are following them, restricting them will not unfollow them.
How to Restrict Someone on Instagram
You can access the restrict function from multiple menus.
From the user’s profile:
- Search for the person you want to restrict.
- Look for three dots in the top right corner of their profile.
- Select “Restrict” and confirm your choice in the popup.
- Choose the unwanted comment or comments by holding them on Android or swiping left on Apple.
- Look for the exclamation mark icon in the menu at the top.
- Select “Block (name)” and then confirm your choice.
- Open a conversation with the user you want to restrict.
- Tap on the user’s name at the top.
- You will find the “Restrict” option near the bottom of the menu that appears. Confirm your choice.
From the settings:
- Open your settings and tap on “Privacy.”
- Look for the menu “Restricted Accounts.”
- You can add any account here by searching for it.
Can I undo a restriction?
Yes, you can remove a restriction from an account at any time. You can do that by opening the user’s profile and tapping the three dots or by accessing your privacy settings and removing them from your list of restricted accounts. You can also remove a restriction from their message request.
What is the difference between blocking and restricting someone?
Blocking is considered a drastic measure as the person you’ve blocked will not be able to interact with you in any way. In addition, it’s not difficult to notice when you’re blocked as the profile of the user who blocked you will appear empty. You won’t be able to message them or leave them comments. They will know that they are blocked, which can lead to unpleasant situations.
As opposed to blocking someone, restricting them is much more discreet. Users will still see your content and will get the impression that they can still interact with you just the same. It’s a much more indirect way of avoiding someone without causing conflict.
Will the user know that I’ve restricted them?
One of the main advantages of using the restrict function instead of blocking someone is that this is a subtler way of limiting interaction. At first glance, they will not notice that they have been restricted.
However, if they are persistent, they will sooner or later realize that something is not right. The user can log in from a different account or ask a friend to check whether their comment appears under your post.
Can I be in a group chat with a restricted account?
If you end up in a group chat with a user you’ve restricted, a note will indicate it. Then, you can decide whether you want to exit the conversation.
Keep Your Instagram a Safe Space
It’s essential that we are in control of our social media accounts and not the other way around. Luckily, more and more settings allow us to stay safe. The “restrict” option on Instagram is a great example.
Have you ever used it, or do you prefer other platform privacy tools? Tell us in the comments!
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