How to use Instagram's new comment and reporting features

Instagram is just a little safer thanks to these updates.

Alina Bradford CNET Contributor
Alina Bradford has been writing how-tos, tech articles and more for almost two decades. She currently writes for CNET's Smart Home Section, MTVNews' tech section and for Live Science's reference section. Follow her on Twitter.
Alina Bradford
2 min read

Instagram has proven itself in the social media world as one of the big contenders. It currently has 800 million users. Out of those, 500 million use the app every day. 

With these numbers comes the need to add additional safety features. As of Sept. 26, Instagram is rolling out additional comment and reporting features that will combat trolls... and may even save a life. Here's what to look for and how to use them.

New comment filters

Trolls got you down? Now you can easily pick and choose who gets to comment on your posts.

To get to the new settings, tap on your icon at the bottom right of the screen. Then tap on the Menu and the Comments option. At the top of the screen you will see the Allow Comments From option. Tap on it and choose the group of people you would like to hear from.


Comment filters are a step toward keeping users safe.


There is also a Block Comments From option. If someone is giving you a little more sass than you like -- or is just acting like a creep -- tap this option. Then, search for the person's name and tap the Block button by the profile when it pops up. 

Don't worry. Your followers won't be unfriended and they won't be alerted that they've been put on comment lockdown.  

Anonymous reporting for live video

There have been some cases of people livestreaming suicides and other tragic acts on Facebook, Instagram's parent company. Now the Instagram app is providing anonymous reporting. 

If you see a live video where someone is threatening self-harm, tap the menu button beside the Write a Message option at the bottom of the screen. Then, tap Report > It's inappropriate > Self injury.


Reporting a live video places a pop-up with resource options.


A message will pop up in front of the person that isn't visible to other accounts. The message will offer resources that could help, such as talking with a helpline volunteer. "We have teams working 24 hours a day, seven days a week, around the world to respond," Instagram said on its blog.

If the person seems to be in immediate danger, call 911 or your local police station immediately. 

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