Have you ever been harassed on Instagram?

Bullying on Instagram is a real problem. The Head of Instagram, Adam @mosseri gave a great interview about the depth of the problem and the solutions they’re putting in place to address it, in the form of new features.

“I and our researchers talked to a bunch of teens and we asked them, ‘why don’t you just block someone who is bullying you on the platform?’ Because you can block someone right now – they can’t see you. You essentially don’t exist on Instagram to them.”

“And there were two reasons that came back. One was – often, that can actually escalate the situation. (The blocked person will) figure that out. They’ll know, and they will bully more, either on Instagram or elsewhere. And two is that you need, as a target of bullying, to see what the actor is actually doing.”

“Teens would often say ‘they’re talking about me. If I blocked them, I won’t be able to see that. So I need to track what’s actually happening.’  Which is why we’ve been developing this new control called Restrict, which allows you to restrict an individual – if they comment on your post, you’ll see it, and it’ll look to them as if it’s actually been commented on, but you have to approve it before anybody else sees it. Their messages are going to go into your other Inbox, and you have to go there to see them and that they won’t actually get read receipts – a whole bunch of different little nuanced ways to give a target of bullying a bit more power over the experience.”

“Restrict is not about changing their behavior. There are other things we’re doing to try and adjust people’s behavior by changing incentives.”

For more insights from this interview, listen to my audio show today where I play this clip then give my take.

Do you think this will actually help bullying?