If you have a public Instagram profile, chances are you’ve been a victim of inappropriate comments from strangers. Given the social network’s vast size, it’s practically impossible to escape such bad actors. Thankfully, Instagram offers a set of tools that let you block offensive comments.
Tap the hamburger button in the top-right corner to access the side menu and then go to Settings > Privacy.
Under the “Interactions” section, select “Comments.”
To ward off offensive comments, you need the tools available under “Filters.”
Once you switch on the first “Hide Offensive Comments” option, Instagram automatically tries to detect spammy or inappropriate comments before they reach you and blocks them using an AI-based filter. In addition to your posts’ comment section, this setting also applies to responses you may receive from your stories and your live videos’ chat stream.
Instagram’s solution won’t be effective every time and some offensive comments may still slip through the cracks. But because the algorithm behind it constantly keeps learning based on what you and other users’ flag, it will likely get better over time.
The second “Manual Filter” option, as the name suggests, gives you the ability to choose the words or phrases that qualify as offensive. If Instagram spots a comment containing any of them, the social network will censor it.
When you enable the manual filter, Instagram will reveal a text field where you need to enter these words. If you are planning to add more than one, don’t forget to separate them by a comma.
This feature is available on Instagram’s website as well. There, click your profile picture thumbnail in the top-right corner of the website and then navigate to Settings > Privacy & Settings > Edit Comment Settings.
Whenever a comment matches any of these filters, it won’t be visible to anyone except for the person who left it.
Under “Manual Filter” on your phone, you will also find a third previously hidden option called “Filter Most Reported Words.” Activating this tunes out the words and phrases that are often present in the comments you report to Instagram as abuse or spammy.
To report an Instagram comment, tap a comment once to highlight it and then select the “Exclamation Point” button found in the top menu bar.
Choose “Report This Comment” and pick the reason for why you are reporting it.
While these comment filtering options are not flawless, they can together drastically cut down the number of offensive remarks that land on your photos and videos.