Instagram is rolling out a new feature to let users temporarily limit unwanted comments and messages they receive from groups of users to fight abuse and harassment on the platform. Called ‘Limits,’ the new addition by the Facebook-owned company is initially at a testing stage and is limited to some users. Instagram will recommend groups of accounts you can limit comments and messages from. The new feature is an extension to Instagram’s tools that allow users to mute and restrict abusive and harassing comments from individuals.
Social media consultant Matt Navarra tweeted screenshots of the Limits feature that was initially spotted on Instagram by Twitter user Ahmed Ghanem. It is available for access to select users through Settings > Privacy > Limits.
Instagram has a NEW ‘Limits’ feature to help you manage harassment from groups of people
– Instagram will recommend groups of accounts you may want to limit comments and messages from
– Limited comments and messages will be hidden unless you approve them
— Matt Navarra (@MattNavarra) July 8, 2021
The feature is aimed to let users limit unwanted comments and messages for a certain period of time, say a day or a week. Instagram will remind users to turn off the limit after that time.
Instagram says that it will recommend groups of accounts that you may want to limit comments and messages from. You will also get the option to select whether you want to limit accounts that are not a part of your followers or are your recent followers. Once you have preferred who you want to limit, the platform will hide comments and messages from all those groups of accounts unless you approve them.
The overall functionality of the Limits feature is similar to how the Restrict option works that was introduced in 2019. However, that was aimed to let users manage harassment from individuals, while the latest change is to limit unwanted comments from groups that target people for abusive and harassing attacks.
In a statement to SocialMediaToday, Instagram said that the Limits feature is currently in testing. “We want to give people more ways to manage intense instances of harassment or abuse. We’re testing a new tool that lets people hide comments and DMs from recent followers or people they don’t follow for a certain period of time,” the company said.
Tackling abusive behaviour, hate speech, and harassment of individuals are amongst the key challenges for Instagram to overcome. The company has brought many changes, including the recent filter to limit hate speech in direct messages. However, it still requires updates like the latest one to restrict abuse and harassment on the platform to some extent.