What Is Instagram?

Instagram is a social media site which allows you to express your opinion and interact with your friends or followers through comments or direct messaging. The application quenches the thirst for social interaction, especially during Covid, and the constant updates keep the consumers engaged and interested in this application. In a spate of regular updates, Instagram released its ‘Restrict’ feature as well. 

Why Did Instagram Release The ‘Restrict’ Feature? 

Due to the many instances of cyberbullying, people use the freedom to express their opinion as a leeway to abuse other people for voicing their opinions. Cyberbullying can be as simple as hurtful comments on someone’s Instagram page, to using the direct messaging systems to communicate threats if said people do not stop voicing their opinions or change their opinions to suit those of the cyberbullies. 

People might also use the right to comment on your posts as a pathway to post false content about you or mean messages that instigate your followers against you. The problem with the eradication of cyberbullying is that anyone with even a basic knowledge of technology can protect himself or herself by simply maintaining anonymity. How can you shut an account down when you have no idea who the person handling the account is? 

Simply reporting the account is also of no use, because even if the account is deactivated or shut down, the person doing the bullying will simply create a new account and keep at it. The long term effects of cyberbullying include low self-esteem for life and can significantly impact the personality development of youths. 

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What is the ‘Restrict’ feature of Instagram? 

The ‘Restrict’ feature has been developed to deal with the problems stated above. It helps in preventing such cyberbullies from making their comments public and affecting your image. The restriction also impacts their ability to direct message you. Any message that they send you will fall in the Instagram Request category, and you can choose if you want to receive their messages or not. 

They will also not know when you have read their message, thereby reducing the pressure on your end to respond to someone you do not want to. The comments made by restricted people will not be visible to other people.  You will have the option of ignoring, deleting, or approving the comments made on your Instagram page. This is an additional precaution that people can take against activities like cyberbullying. It will also make people feel safer, and feel as if their content will not be judged by all who view it.

If you have a group chat with the person you restricted in it, you will get a notification when the restricted person sends a message on the group chat. All other notifications regarding the comments and Instagram likes of the restricted person on the page will not be notified to you. 

How Can You Restrict People On Instagram? 

  1. Restricting People Through Direct Messaging 
  • Tap the ‘direct messaging’ icon. 
  • Click on the chat you want to be restricted.
  • Tap the ‘i’ icon at the top of the chat. 
  • Click on ‘Restrict’ 
  • Click on ‘Restrict Account.’ 
  1. Restriction Of People Through The Comments Section 
  • At the bottom of the post, click on ‘View all comments.’
  • You can move your finger to the left over the comment of the person you want to restrict in iPhones. 
  • In Android phones, simply long-press on the comment.
  • Tap the ‘i’ icon and go to ‘Restrict.’
  • Click on the username of the person you want to restrict. 
  1. Restriction Via Settings Option 
  • In your profile, tap the hamburger menu icon. 
  • Go to ‘Settings.’
  • Navigate to ‘Privacy.’
  • In ‘Connections’ you will have the option to view your Restricted accounts.
  • In order to edit them, tap on that option. 
  • Add the username of any account that you wish to restrict. 
  1. In order to unrestrict an account, you need to follow the same steps and click on the ‘Unrestrict’ option instead of the ‘Restrict’ Option. 

Will A Person You Have Restricted Know That You Have Done So? 

The restriction is not as evident or apparent as blocking someone on Instagram is. The person you restrict will still be able to see your posts and will be able to comment on them. They will be able to view all the conversations that you had in the direct messaging section of Instagram. They will be able to tag or mention you in stories, only if they know and type out your username completely. 

The slightly subtle signs that can indicate that you have restricted a person are that they will not be able to see when you have read their messages or when you are online. However, these might be features you have programmed into your account universally for all followers, and it gets tough for restricted users to determine if you have restricted them after all. 

However, the person who has restricted the other in the first place will have greater control over the amount of interaction they want to have with the other. 


While the attempt of Instagram to combat cyberbullying must be lauded, it also must be noted that no matter how much publicity these new features are given, most of them go unnoticed or unused, either because the user is unaware of the feature, or he does not know how to apply it to his or her Instagram account. There must be a methodology in place such that the user realises that he can use this new feature in his time of need. For example, if Instagram senses that a user is deleting comments from a particular person multiple times, a pop-up informing them about the ‘Restrict’ feature, and how to use it, will come in handy. Earlier, Instagram had come out with a feature where comments containing certain keywords decided by the holder of the account will not be made public without the permission of the account holder. However, very few people used this feature due to lack of information. Information is the key to combat cyberbullying. 


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