Instagram is rolling out a range of changes to its core app’s functionality and one of the biggest (and most requested) is the so-called shadowban option which the company is more tactfully calling a “Restrict” function.
What it does is basically make a troll or abusive user’s comments invisible to everyone but that person.
Aimed at reigning in the rampant bullying that can be prevalent on some social media platforms among certain age groups, the feature is a discreet and less final way of controlling a user’s interaction with your Instagram account than say a block would be.
As for why this kind of discreet option for banning users needs to be implemented it seems that some trolls take blocking and the like as extra incentive to continue their actions.
This can include creating new accounts or, if it is someone the user knows in real life, ramp up the bullying there. All in all, it is quite a sad state of affairs but it’s also a great move on Instagram’s part to limit bad behavior.
The restricted user will be able to comment and view a user’s photos but won’t ever know that they are banned.
The restricted user is also able to send messages to the account that restricted it though they are redirected into the message request folder and do not show a read status update according to DPReview. This change, alongside the proposal to get rid of likes, is part of a massive reconfiguration of the way social media platforms under Facebook’s umbrella work.
One reason is to make it a healthier, more pleasant experience, but there’s also the whole advertising angle. After all, advertisers are not going to be keen on supporting a platform that leads to rampant abuse of its users.
What do you think? Is the “Restrict” option a good move on Instagram’s part? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
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