3 Ways to Shut Down Instagram Abuse

By Team TrollBusters

Journalists can often get hateful messages or comments from trolls on Instagram. Here are simple ways to shut down online abuse.

News professionals often have public profiles on Instagram where they share their latest work — whether it is through images, videos or stories; many reporters use this channel to connect with their readers. But this platform can also bring media reporters in contact with trolls. These anonymous accounts can leave abusive comments on photos, send threatening messages, or try hacking your account. Here are easy steps you can take to avoid their harassment:

  • Make your profile a personal account

By having a personal account only some people can see what you post. To do this, open the Instagram app on your phone, go to your profile and click on the three horizontal lines on the top-right corner. Then click on ‘Settings’, when a new window opens scroll down and click on ‘Account.’ Then scroll down and click on the blue text that says ‘Switch Account Type’ and click ‘Switch to Personal Account.’ Then a dialogue box will ask you to confirm the change, click ‘Switch to personal account’ again and you’re good to go. 

From “No Excuse for Abuse,” PEN America Report on online abuse of writers and journalists.
  • Turn off commenting on a specific post

If you posted a photo or video on Instagram and you are receiving a lot of disturbing comments on it from one person or multiple accounts, you can turn off comments on that post. Just open your Instagram account on your phone, go to your profile and pick the specific post. Then click on the three horizontal dots on the top right corner of the image and click ‘Turn Off Commenting.’ This will quickly hide all the comments you have received on the post so far and people will not be able to comment under it anymore.

  • Block any account sending you hate messages

If you are receiving offensive messages from any user on Instagram consider blocking their account once and for all. To do this open your Instagram account on your cell phone and click on the paper plane graphic on the top-right corner. This will open your messages and list profiles of the people who you communicated with recently. Then click on the profile that you want to block, in the new window you will be able to read any exchanges you’ve had with them so far. The click on the icon at the top-right corner, it looks like the alphabet ‘i’ inside a circle. This will open the ‘Details’ tab, simply scroll down and click ‘Block’ in red. Then a dialogue box will ask you to confirm, so just click ‘Block’ again.

Published by michelleferrier

Executive Director, Media Innovation Collaboratory; Founder, Troll-Busters.com | Online Pest Control for Women Writers and Journalists;

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