How To Use Social Media Features to Block Online Bullying

You have identified that your child is being bullied online- so what next? The answer depends on which social media platform they are using, but all popular websites have some variety of opportunities to block and filter out negative comments, here we’ll take a look at Instagram and Twitter.

Instagram

Instagram recently released an antibully filter that uses machine learning algorithms to identify sentiment in messages and block negative comments from ever appearing in the first place. It will also collect data about repeat offenders and investigate their accounts for potential bans.

Additionally, on Instagram there is the possibility to edit a list of keywords that you want to omit from your comment section. You can find this under:

Settings > Comments > Enable Keyword Filter

You can also hide offensive comments as decided by Instagram under the same tab:

Settings > Comments > Hide Offensive Comments

If you know someone specifically has been harassing your child, you can block their account by going to the harasser’s profile and click the “…” under which you will find the Block button.

Twitter

Unfollow

As with Instagram, Twitter’s way of connecting with people is to follow or unfollow specific accounts, so the easiest way to wipe away malicious comments is to first change your child’s account settings so only people who follow your child can interact with them, and then unfollow that person.

Filter Notifications

If your child is getting unwanted tags or mentions from an account they do not know, you can adjust their notification settings to filter out these messages. Read more about adjusting timeline notifications here.

Block

Common to most social media platforms, blocking the account of anyone who you do not want to interact with anymore can be extremely effective in silencing online bullying. This keeps the bully from being able to interact with or access content on your child’s profile.

Report

Twitter has a set of rules for using their platform that can result in being banned if violated. If your child is experiencing bullying, there is a chance it could be covered under these rules and reporting the account to Twitter might be effective in getting the bully’s account banned.