How to Report Harassment on Instagram: Comprehensive Bully Defense Guide

By: Ellen Bartolino

Navigating through Instagram in 2023, have you ever encountered a live video or post where someone is harassing another user? Sadly, you’re not the only one. Experiencing bullying on platforms like Instagram is becoming all too common. However, there’s a silver lining. Instagram is not just standing by. With features like “report” and flagging “it’s inappropriate” content, Instagram is empowering users to report and combat bullying. If you or someone’s being targeted, know that Instagram may have your back. Eager to learn how to stop a bully and also block those responsible for the harassment? Let’s uncover the additional information to ensure a safer online experience.

How to Report Harassment on Instagram

Recognizing Harassment on Instagram

Definition of bully and harassment

We’ve all heard the terms bully and harassment, but what do they really mean, especially in the context of Instagram? Bullying is repeated aggressive behavior intended to hurt another person, physically or mentally. Harassment on Instagram, on the other hand, can be a one-time event or a series of events where someone tries to intimidate, threaten, or humiliate another user.

Different forms of bullying and harassment: comments, messages, stories, etc

Bullying and harassment can take many forms on Instagram. It’s not just limited to nasty comments. Have you ever received a direct message that made you uncomfortable? Or perhaps seen a story that seemed to target you indirectly? These are all forms of bullying and harassment on Instagram. It’s essential to recognize them so you can take appropriate action.

A close friend of mine was once a victim of a coordinated harassment campaign on Instagram. Multiple accounts would target her daily, leaving derogatory comments and sharing her personal information. It was a traumatic experience, but with the support of her friends and the Instagram community, she was able to report and put an end to the harassment.

Importance of reporting for community safety on Instagram

On popular social media platforms like Instagram, the act of reporting isn’t just a personal defense mechanism. By reporting bullying and harassment, you’re not only shielding yourself but also fortifying the entire Instagram community against such threats. Every “report” submitted, especially when something is “it’s inappropriate”, aids Instagram in pinpointing and taking decisive action against users who breach their community guidelines. As users of one of the most popular social media platforms, it’s our shared duty to combat instagram for bullying and ensure the platform remains a haven for genuine interactions. Remember, every person who’s harassed online diminishes the platform’s integrity, making it all the more crucial for us to act.

Blocking the harasser

There are moments when merely reporting doesn’t seem to suffice, especially if you’re dealing with persistent bullies. If you ever feel endangered or simply wish to sever all connections with a specific Instagram user, the block feature is at your disposal. By doing so, you ensure they remain oblivious to your profile, posts, or stories. Moreover, they’ll be rendered incapable of reaching out to you. It’s an effective way to reclaim your peace and ensure you’re not just another person who’s harassed online.

Immediate Actions to Take Against Bullies

Documenting the cyberbullying: screenshots, timestamps, etc

If you’re facing cyberbullying, the first step is to gather evidence. Before you block or report the bully, take screenshots of all interactions. This includes comments, direct messages, and even shared posts. Ensure you capture the date and time, as these timestamps can be crucial. Remember, these screenshots can serve as evidence if you decide to take further action. It’s always better to have more documentation than less. And while it might be painful to revisit this harmful content, it’s essential for your protection.

According to, in a study involving parents of kids between the ages of 10 and 18, 21% of children have been victims of cyberbullying.

Blocking the bully on Instagram

No one should tolerate bullying. If someone is making your Instagram experience unpleasant, take control. Go to their profile, tap on the three dots in the top right, and select ‘Block’. This ensures they can’t view your content or contact you through the Instagram app. Remember, your peace of mind is paramount. Don’t hesitate to block anyone who disrupts that.

Adjusting privacy settings for mental health

Your mental health is crucial. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by interactions on Instagram, consider adjusting your privacy settings. Switching your profile to private means only approved followers can see your posts and stories. This can create a safer space for you to share and interact without the fear of unsolicited negative comments.

Adjusting your privacy settings

Reporting Harassment on Instagram

Steps to report someone for bullying on an account or content

If you’ve identified bullying and harassment on Instagram, it’s time to take action. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Navigate to the profile page of the user you want to report.
  2. Tap on the three dots (often referred to as the “ellipsis” or “overflow” button) in the top right corner of their profile.
  3. Select “Report” from the dropdown menu.
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the report.

Remember, reporting is confidential. The person you’re reporting won’t know it.

Using the in-app reporting feature

If blocking isn’t enough, or if you believe the harassment violates Instagram’s community guidelines, it’s time to report it. Within the Instagram app, you can report harassment directly. Navigate to the offending content, tap on the three dots, and select ‘Report’. Follow the prompts, and Instagram will review your report. They prioritize user safety, so rest assured they’ll take your concerns seriously.

Reporting multiple instances of bullying and harassment

Facing bullying and harassment from multiple accounts? Or perhaps the same user keeps creating new profiles to target you? It’s essential to report bullying from each account. Document each instance, and consider reaching out to Instagram support for more comprehensive assistance. They can track multiple accounts linked to the same device and take appropriate action.

What to expect after reporting an account or content

After reporting, Instagram reviews the content or account in question. If they find violations, they might issue warnings, temporarily suspend, or even permanently ban the reported account. Instagram will notify you about the outcome of your report, ensuring you’re in the loop.

Legal Recourse and External Help

When to consider legal action against online harassment

While Instagram does its part, sometimes the harassment escalates beyond the platform. If you’re facing threats, stalking, or any form of severe online harassment, it might be time to involve law enforcement. Remember, your safety is paramount. Don’t hesitate to take action if you believe the situation warrants it.

Organizations that can help with cyberbullying

Facing cyberbullying can be isolating, but you’re not alone. Several resources available can help. Organizations like the Cyberbullying Research Center and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline offer support to those affected by this kind of harassment. Whether you need advice, counseling, or just someone to talk to, reach out. There’s a community ready to support you.

Organizations that can help with cyberbullying

Protecting Yourself on Instagram

Setting up a private Instagram account

Your Instagram account is a reflection of you. It’s where you share moments, memories, and musings. But sometimes, you might want a little more privacy. Setting your profile to private is a simple step that can make a world of difference. Only approved followers can see your content, ensuring you have control over who’s in your digital space.

Limiting who can comment or message for mental health

Your mental health is paramount. If you ever feel overwhelmed by the interactions on Instagram, take control. You can limit who can comment on your posts or even message you. This ensures that only trusted individuals can engage with you, helping you maintain a positive environment. After all, Instagram should be a place of joy, not stress. And always remember, you have the right to set boundaries that align with the platform’s community guidelines.

In a recent case study from 2023, we delve into the harrowing experience of a young influencer named Mia. Mia had amassed a significant following on Instagram, sharing her daily life and passions. However, things took a dark turn when she became the target of a coordinated harassment campaign. This online harassment not only affected her mental well-being but also had real-world implications. The case study sheds light on the severity of such incidents and the need for platforms like Instagram to take more robust measures to protect their users.

Regularly reviewing follower list and profile

It’s always a good idea to do a regular check-up on your profile. Who’s following you? Are there any accounts that seem suspicious? Take the time to review your follower list and ensure your username and other details are up-to-date. A little maintenance can go a long way in ensuring your Instagram experience remains pleasant.

Supporting Others Facing Harassment

Recognizing signs in friends and family of bullying

It’s heartbreaking to think that someone you care about might be getting bullied on Instagram. But it’s essential to detect the signs. Are they suddenly less active? Do they seem distressed after using the app? Being observant can make a difference. Remember, sometimes, all someone needs is a friend to notice and offer support.

Offering help and resources against cyberbullying

If someone you know is facing cyberbullying, it’s essential to be there for them. Offer a listening ear, share resources available, and remind them that they’re not alone. Platforms like Instagram have tools and prevention measures in place to combat online harassment. Guide them, support them, and together, let’s create a safer online community.


The importance of a safe online community in combating online harassment

The digital age has brought us closer than ever before. But with this closeness comes challenges, like online harassment. It’s up to each one of us to ensure that platforms like Instagram remain safe. By adhering to the community guidelines, reporting inappropriate behavior, and supporting one another, we can combat online harassment and create a safer space for all.

The role of Instagram in ensuring user safety and their responsibility in addressing harassment

Instagram isn’t just a platform; it’s a community. And as with any community, there’s a shared responsibility to ensure everyone feels safe and respected. Instagram has a pivotal role in this. By enforcing their regulations, taking action against violators, and continuously updating their safety measures, they can ensure that every user’s experience is positive. But remember, it’s not just up to Instagram. It’s up to all of us. Let’s work together to make the digital world a kinder, safer place.

Combating online harassment

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do if someone on Instagram is sharing my personal information without my consent?

If someone on Instagram is sharing your personal information, it’s a serious violation of privacy. First, tap and hold on the specific post or comment to report it. Instagram takes private information breaches seriously and will review your report. It’s also advisable to file a report directly to the platform detailing the breach. Remember, protecting your privacy is paramount, and platforms like Instagram have measures to fight back against such violations.

I’ve reported an abusive account, but they’ve created another one to harass me. What should I do?

Experiencing repeated harassment from multiple accounts can be distressing. If you’ve already reported an abusive account and they create another to target you, report the account again. Additionally, consider adjusting your privacy settings to limit who can see your content and interact with you. Remember, bullying is a serious issue, and it’s important to know that platforms like Instagram are continuously working to ensure user safety.

How can I stop spam accounts from tagging me in photos and videos?

Spam accounts can be a nuisance, especially when they tag you in unrelated photos and videos. To combat this, you can adjust your settings to review tags before they appear on your profile. If you notice a pattern from a specific account, consider blocking them. Also, report these accounts as spam so Instagram can take appropriate action.

I forgot my password, and I think someone is bullying using my account. How can I regain control?

If you suspect someone is bullying using your account, it’s crucial to act soon as possible. Use the ‘Forgot Password’ option to reset your password. Once you regain access, review your account activity, delete any inappropriate posts or comments, and ensure your personal information is secure. It’s also a good idea to fill out this form provided by Instagram detailing the unauthorized access.

A post/comment was removed from my account, but I didn’t delete it. Why did this happen?

Instagram continuously monitors content to ensure it aligns with its regulations. If a post or comment violates these guidelines, it might be removed, and you’ll receive a notification. Common reasons include sharing private information, harassment, or content that’s deemed inappropriate. If you believe there’s been an error, you can consult Instagram’s terms of service and follow the instructions to appeal.

Author Bio

Ellen Bartolino

Ellen is a seasoned author and communication expert, with a particular focus on Instagram. Her extensive knowledge of the platform has allowed her to create engaging and effective content for businesses and individuals alike. Ellen has a proven track record of crafting compelling Instagram captions and influencer marketing.