Recently, we’ve discussed general safety tips for teens related to Instagram, and also fleshed out in detail how individuals are cyberbullied on Instagram. Today, I thought I’d summarize the ways in which teens (and adults) should use the social media platform to reduce their chances of victimization and to have the most enjoyable and hassle-free experience.

When you’re tagged in a photo that you can see that you dislike or is cruel or embarrassing, you can click on it and Hide it from your profile, Remove yourself from the photo, and/or Report it as Inappropriate to the site. All of these options are available by selecting the photo, clicking your name (the tag), and then choosing from the various options presented. They are also available by clicking on the […] button to the right of the Like and Comment buttons at the bottom of every picture.

Always remember that you can report *any* inappropriate picture posted by someone else in that manner – by selecting the […] button. Please know that when you “report” a photo, the person you are reporting against doesn’t ever find out that it was you who reported against them. You remain anonymous. Instagram then just simply looks into the matter to verify whether the picture is, in fact, inappropriate. If it is, they will delete it.

Let’s say someone is being a jerk to you on Instagram in numerous ways. If you go to that user’s page, at the top right is an icon that looks like a box with an arrow flying out of it (if you use iOS devices, you are very familiar with this icon as it represents “Send…”). Clicking on that button will allow you to Block that user, or Report him/her for Spam. When you block someone, that person can’t search for you or view your photos – and they don’t get any sort of notification that they have been blocked. If you have mutual followers, though, that person can still see the likes and comments you make on other people’s pictures (you don’t become completely invisible to each other, like on Facebook).



Even if you block someone, you can still be mentioned in captions and comments with your username (in my case, @hinduja) and cyberbullied in that way. What you have to do then is to Block that person, and change your username (under Edit Your Profile, accessible via the right-most button in the main navigation bar at the bottom of Instagram). I know this is a chore, and you probably don’t want to do that – but it’s an option if absolutely necessary.





When it comes to comments on pictures, always remember that you can manually delete ones that are harmful or humiliating – or report them. If it is on your picture, click the Comment button, and then swipe on the problematic comment. This will give you access to a trash can icon – allowing you to either Delete it and Report it as abusive, or simply to Delete it. If it is on someone else’s picture, do that person (and cyberspace) a favor by clicking the Comment button, swiping on the problematic content, and Report it (using the icon with an exclamation point on a stop sign). Eliminate hate. All the cool kids are doing it. And it’s definitely worth the two seconds it takes. Again, the person you are reporting against never learns who flagged them, their image, or their comment.


Finally, a point I made in a previous blog bears repeating: to avoid stress and headaches that might come from dealing with unwelcome interactions from people you don’t really want to know or be in touch with, set your Photos to Private. This one step does so much to keep you in control of your content. Try not to simply desire to connect with as many other Instagram users as possible, just to raise the number of your Followers. You’ll never be satisfied. Rather, have quality interactions on Instagram with people that you like and know, and want to be in friendship/relationship with. The bonding experiences over pictures and captions and comments and hashtags become so much more meaningful. It’s like you’re actually sharing your life with people that are in your life. And they’re doing the same! Hope this helps!

  1. Jon

    In my opinion, Instagram is now one of the three worst bullying sites on the internet behind Ripoff Report and Topix.

    • julia

      i know rigth

  2. julia

    this is a opinion

  3. katieplz

    So how would one deal with a user who created their page specifically to anonymously cyberbully people in general?

  4. PissedatIG

    A hate page was created to bully my friends. They post pics and comment very graphic insulting things after days of reporting to IG the page is still up and now a few more. This is Terrible this page has been reported so many times but it still remains. I did the things above to remove the comments but the 1st caption comment remains!!! HOW DO I DELETE THAT ONE??!

  5. Naomi Heart

    We need help serious child cyberbullying which is going to lead to suicide, please help me stop this predator: @officialfges and @losesomeweight Who ever this is ; is cyberbullying children on instagram

  6. Mom of 3 daughters

    If a page had nothing put pictures and posts talking bad about young girls, it should be removed!! I know of 2 young girls who were on a certain page and have hurt themselves. What is it going to take to stop this this nonsense. Someone’s life????

  7. jessicax

    Someone said something really horrible about me on instagram.. they go to my skl and i want that comment to be deleted so i will try wot u said.. reporting it! good job they dont c!

  8. Shel

    If sum1 has posted a neud pic of u but also blocked u how r u ment to report them I went on the net to report him and it won’t send so I got no options he is also posting pictures of him and guns so he can threaten me and my kids

  9. MANDA


  10. Scared

    Please report the account @ homesteez for me, they have been sexually harassing and threatening my friends and I. CWD. Thank you. I’ll like some of your photos in return.

  11. Annloveshedgehogs

    People are such cyber bullies for no reason. I was commenting on a photo really nicely and then this girl freaks out for no reason at all. She starts cussing and calling me a fat ugly b*tch, and i kinda lost my mind too. Her sister and mom gets into it and then they just make her seem right. They dont do anything to stop her, and she keeps putting really mean and abusive comments on my photos. this person is @minecraftgirl_101. I almost comepletely left insta because of this.

    • Annika

      Do you know what r new name is ? I searched it but nothing cam up ?

  12. loveSaintBernards

    my 9 year old daughter was cyber bullied on instagram. I called them out on it and they then really started to pick on her and said they don’t care because no one will do anything about it. Funny thing is it’s true. I reported them numerous times to instagram and yet they are still doing it. We have now deleted her account. Question is why should my daughter have to delete her account because of someone else. My daughter already suffers from depression. They are calling me a B and all kinds of stuff. I took pictures of the comments they left.
    They said there parents know and don’t care.

    • alexember

      I had the same experience but it’s been going on for a few weeks and my daughter is almost 17. It’s not girls doing it though. It’s a guy she dated back in January and his friends. Making up profiles with the name Anderson th0ts aka hoes then posting a picture of her calling her a whore and stuff. Instagram did take it down because a ton of people reported it but they turned around did it again and it had to be taken down again. He also texts her and he has his friends do it to. I’ve asked him to stop but he said no, it’s funny. He doesn’t care either but I’m collecting all the posts, the comments, texts, pictures they put up, everything. I think the police will do something if not at least give him a visit and a warning. The problem is kids aren’t scared of adults anymore, they have no RESPECT. You think because you did, that they would but times have changed and they honestly do not care. My suggestion for you, is to keep everything that this girl has said. If they go to school together report it to the school because if they are doing it online then they are doing it there as well. Schools HAVE to take bullying seriously now since states have started passing laws. Our school system just had to pay out $50,000 because they didn’t act when I teenager was being bullied. Now they are all about it. Don’t want to lose anymore money on that.

      • Anonymous

        This is not the school’s problem, it is yours. In my opinion, kids in school should only have phones that do not connect to the internet. You parents really need to grow up and take care of your own problems.

    • John

      Here is a thought.. She is not 13. As per the Tos. Get her off it

    • Anna

      Instagram is for 13+ so she shouldn’t be on it anyway

    • Anonymous

      Not only is she too young to have one of these accounts, she is also not mature enough. 13-16 is the age to be involved in social media, and even that is too young. My niece did not follow this advice, and now her daughter is battling an eating disorder and substance abuse. Be a mother, do the right thing, and follow the suggested rules. YOU are the problem.

  13. Lily

    Hi, I’m 13 and my friend and I are being told really hurtful things on instagram (I was called many curse words). This person also told me that he hopes that I die a slow and painful death and that he wants to boil me alive. He has also been sexually abusing me and my friend, he told me that if he ever learned who I was or my address that he would come to my house and RAPE me. I am thinking about SUICIDE…….. I’m really depressed now and scared to DEATH THAT HE IS GOING TO RAPE MY FRIEND AND I. My other friends have been very supportive with me and they have been trying to keep me from self harm, but I don’t know how much more I can stand this… Please report him, his instagram is @mrwiggo. The pic is one of a Perry the Platypus Account (I know it sounds weird, but yeah).

    • Ell


  14. 1034786

    Is there any way to. know if the photo you reportés hws bene taken down.

  15. Tom

    how do you report or call instagram anonymously, without being logged on? Maybe a phone number?

    • Justin W. Patchin

      We’re not aware of a phone number for the public to use to make reports. We are only aware of these links:

      How to Address Abuse: http://help.instagram.com/527320407282978
      Reporting abuse: http://help.instagram.com/165828726894770
      Abuse form to fill out: http://help.instagram.com/contact/570148369683854
      Blocking abusers: http://help.instagram.com/426700567389543

  16. JC

    I had a different situation…I believe I was being falsely reported as inappropriate. Within a week I had three IG profiles shut down. I did not curse, disrespect anyone or say unkind things. Nor would I even accept DM’s that I thought could be inappropriate. I don’t know who to contact to get my site up and I’m afraid to start another one because I don’t know what I’m doing wrong to cause it to get shut down to begin with…has anyone else had this happen?

  17. Rebecca Hammond

    I have had photos put up of me but the user has blocked me and i can’t view it to report it:( what do i do?

  18. LoveYourSelf

    I posted a photo and it includes myself and another friend. If they ask me to remove it, do I have to?

  19. Dan

    Please check out Censorgram for Instagram. An automated way to control comments and users on your Instagram profile. This will help in our fight against cyberbullying and spam!

  20. Anonymous

    Last night a pic of my daughter was posted on a smiliar site in a neighboring county of Berrian. I’m not so sure its not a parent that has done this to my daughter. We are reporting the site but after reading some of these posts it sounds useless. Hopefully for my daughters sake this is a parent it will be easier for me to handle this for her no IG acct required.

  21. Anonymous

    It was a regular day for me on instagram and this girl followed me. I check her pics just in case if i knew her and while looking through her pics there were girls and guys telling her bad stuff. Mostly these same ppl end up putting rude comments

  22. Her

    Instagram has used to be a place I would go to see nice pictures go shopping post pics of me n son and meet new people now it’s all about bullying and even when u do report a page they don’t delete it I’ve report so many bashing hate pages that people mad about me and my son and also some of my friend it’s disgusting they need to really look at the pages Thatz being reported for bulling and harassment there people out here killing there self just before of these bullying pages

  23. Anonymous

    I was cyber bullied today for standing up for my friend

  24. Anonymous

    Instagram is the biggest piece of crap app in the entire world I’m telling everyone to delete it. I’ve seen bullying harassment on there and they do absolutely nothing AFTER several people have reported etc. I’m going to be contacting law enforcement. Why don’t you people stop worrying about how many are using it and start focusing on making it a safe fun app to use you idiots

  25. Anonymous

    When my wife past away some” friends” created a fan-page and I quote “help us preserve memories for her children” However they started posting inappropriate comments and pictures. some of my children are to young to be on social media and some could be considered of age, however I do not allow them to poses this kind of invasion and intrusive platform. It is interesting to see how people feel entitled to your story or your children/family s privacy regardless of if their parent has requested them to NOT post pictures of you or your minor children without parental consent. It is one thing to post pictures of your own children and or friend/family that does not mind but it is a complete VIOLATION and CYBERBULLYINGt to blatantly disregard a parents right to decide weather or not their pictures should or should not be posted. My kids and I have been cyber bulled and they don’t even know it. Cyber bullies come off more as a “absence of malice” type. ” I’ve always wondered if so and so had a drinking problem or “im not saying but is so and so gay?” Captions like that and photos posted without consent are VERY MALICIOUS, yet the poster can get away with it and hide behind the mask of “i didn’t say they were gay or that they had a drinking problem” As a parent you must first protect your children from it, even if it means blocking family/friends on a social media platform and or on a day to day basis. I don’t think it means to run or shelter your children but to take initiative and inform; school systems, parties that are involved, friends, family, the social media platform etc…

  26. Anonymous

    Would like to no why I photo I have reported twice hasn’t been sent off insta yet comments on it asking for a fight

  27. anonymous

    I’m getting cyber bullied on ig with my pictures there’s a page that’s all about me I’ve reported 100 times and it’s been a week and nothing has been done it affecting my whole life :(((((

  28. westcoastlexi

    please I’m begging any and everyone who reads this post please report this account I have been harassed on numerous occasions by @phrophet7 this person is even taking it a step further by telling everyone that we are having sex I am under age and it is not a good image they say they will not stop lying on me until I give them what they want you guys please please please help me flag this page I have notified Instagram and local police

  29. katt

    Please report trapstar419 on instagram it is a bullying website..please report abuse

  30. joshua

    instagram iam getung bulled and they sead that there going to hurt me

  31. Anonymous

    My daughter’s account has been hacked into. A friend on her account put a photo on and under my daughter’s username an abusive comment was made. My daughter didn’t make this comment and two young girls have been left very distressed. I have changed the simple password and changed the email address, could the abuser still be under her username. Will it be better to shut down the account ?

  32. Anonymous

    Iv had a problem with someone making a fake facebook with my name and pics they were slagging a girl off to a lad who screen shotted the conversation and the girl it was about put it up on instagram (I’m not on instagram) calling me a vile dog! Iv since had inboxes and death threats to my face book because the instagram photo posted with my picture and full name on – when it was someone prtending to be me, its devasted me iv reported it and heard nothin and the post is still up with over a 100 comments on it all calling me names and my children how can I get this removed?

  33. Wendy C Knight

    Someone has made a fake account on Snapchat of my friends son and now is threatening to blow their school up. What can be done by my friend about this? Any suggestions? Her son is autistic and has a mild case of cerebral palsy and has been bullied all his life. He graduates this year and all this is driving my friend and her son crazy! Help please, anyone!

  34. Ana

    Can you please report this account @jaelherrera03 on instagram for me they been bullying my sister and made her cry

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