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How To Block Someone on Instagram

Posted by Jamie on November 20, 2019

Instagram is a great place to spend an idle hour or two. Looking at pics, catching up with friends, reading Stories, chatting via Direct Message and discovering more about this wild world in which we live can be truly wonderful experiences. The openness and sharing intent of the platform is followed through by most people using this as a positive experience, making it one of the better social networks for hanging out and learning more. Yet that isn’t always the case, which is why we are going to show you how to block someone on Instagram.

Unfortunately, some people use the cloak of anonymity of social media to reveal their true, nasty selves.  Sometimes people can’t help but share their negative opinions, and other times they’re just “trolling” you, or being hateful just to get a reaction.  Others take every opportunity to see what you’re doing through social media, making them Grade A Stalkers.  Whether you’re being hassled by a troll, being stalked by a stranger, or just want to hide some of your posts from unsympathetic eyes, you do have options in Instagram. The technique for blocking unwanted attention is very straightforward.

Blocking Someone on Instagram

Blocking someone on Instagram should ideally be a last resort. In many cases, the rage or offense you feel may be short term. Depending on the people involved, being blocked is akin to being rejected and can have far reaching psychological effects. However, that’s definitely not true of every interaction.  If their behavior is toxic, triggering, inappropriate or is causing you psychological damage, then you may not have a choice.  If the account is definitely spam, a bot, or harassing you with endless DMs, you also might need to block them to keep your sanity.

As this tutorial is about blocking on Instagram, we’ll first go through the basic process of blocking someone on Instagram.  Read on, though, because we’ll also talk about the whys and whens of the blocking process, and what alternate courses you might wish to take.

Blocking Someone Using the Instagram App

  1. Open the app and navigate to the offending user’s Instagram profile.
  2. Select the three dot menu icon in the top right.
  3. Select Block from the popup menu that appears.
  4. Confirm the warning by hitting Block again.
  5. Select Dismiss when the final warning appears.

That final warning doesn’t always appear. I have tried this a few times to experiment. Sometimes I just needed to confirm the block twice and it was done. A couple times I needed to confirm once again.

If you need to unblock them again, it is just as easy. Blocking may feel final, but it is not absolute- you can always unblock someone later.  You just repeat the above but select “Unblock” from the menu instead.

  1. Open the app and navigate to the person’s Instagram profile.
  2. Select the three dot menu icon in the top right.
  3. Select Unblock from the popup menu that appears.

If it has been a little while since you blocked the person, you may have trouble finding them. The person will not appear when you search and their posts will have been removed from your feed. So what do you do?

You have two options, you could access your block list or find a post from a mutual friend where the person you blocked has commented.

  1. Select the three line menu icon from your Instagram profile.
  2. Select Settings
  3. Select Privacy
  4. Select Blocked Accounts.
  5. Select the person from the list and select Unblock

Or:

  1. Navigate to a mutual friend’s post where the blocked person has commented.
  2. Select their profile and the three dot menu icon.
  3. Select Unblock as above.

Perhaps a better option may be to stop the person from commenting on your photos or video. If it’s their comments that are causing issues, adjusting your comment privileges may be a better option than blocking them altogether.  This is particularly handy in instances where your Auntie’s odd political rants are really making for some awkward moments when sharing family photos.

  1. Select your profile and select the Settings menu.
  2. Select Privacy, and then Comment Controls.
  3. Select Block Comments From and then select People.
  4. Select the person you want to stop commenting and select Block.

This doesn’t block them entirely, it just stops them being able to comment on your photos or videos. This may be enough to clean up your feed and stop them being quite so annoying.  There are also a variety of comment filtering options here that you might want to explore, including filters that hide offensive comments, and a manual filter that lets you hide comments with certain trigger words.

Before You Block Someone on Instagram

I would always recommend trying to tackle the situation first if the person you’re planning to block is a close friend. A candid discussion is usually quite effective. Some people can be genuinely blind to their behavior online and it can be completely different to how they are as a person.  Additionally, online disagreements are often harder to vet than in-person discussions, because it’s very hard to understand tone from text.

Shining a light on that behavior may or may not work. Much depends on their personality, how they handle feedback and how close a friend you are. If you have a mutual friend who is closer to them, it may be worth enlisting their help in managing that behavior.

Social media has done a lot of good in bringing people together and giving us more ways to express ourselves. But, it has also lowered the value of some friendships so they are almost disposable. If the person is worthy of being thought of as a in-real-life (IRL, for the web-savvy) friend, they are worthy of a little effort to address whatever issues is causing you to want to block them. If they still act up after all this, you can block them with a clear conscience!

That being said, do not sacrifice your mental health for the sake of a “friend” who cannot keep the peace online.  If you are badly triggered, emotionally impacted, or threats are made to you, by all means, hit Block as hard as you can.  Only TRUE friendships are forever, and people who go out of their way to hurt you are not true friends.

You always have control over your own Instagram presence, and no one can take that away from you.  Let these steps empower you, but don’t let blocking be the easy way out… sometimes, you just need to have a friendly discussion to right what went wrong.

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