Instagram – New Features Addressing Harmful Online Content and Screen Time

24 Feb 2022 UK SIC

Instagram recently announced two new features that work towards addressing screen time and harmful content online. This includes the ‘Take a Break’ feature as well as how harmful online content is presented towards users.

‘Take a Break’ Feature

Instagram recently launched the ‘Take a Break’ feature that works towards helping users with managing their screen time. It aims to set some restrictions around how long they use social media for.

If a user on Instagram has been scrolling for a set period of time, they will now get a notification, advising them to take a break. As well as this, it will prompt them through notifications to set reminders for additional breaks in the future. This feature is available to notify the user after 10, 20 or 30 minutes.

To set this feature up, go into your Profile Tab, select the Three Lines in the top right corner and hit Your Activity. From there, go into Time Spent and select Set a Reminder to Take Breaks. You will then see the options for when you want to receive notifications to take a break.

Addressing Harmful Online Content

As part of this new feature, Instagram will show potentially harmful posts lower on a user’s newsfeed, inhibiting their exposure to posts that incite violence or include bullying or hate speech. The announcement of this feature highlighted that detection of this harmful content will come from comparing similarities towards content that has already been reported in the past.

Instagram incorporates a set of community guidelines where content is reviewed against and removed if not adhered to. Instagram users can also report posts within the app if they find or consider something harmful. Now, Instagram is placing potentially harmful posts lower on a user’s feed if the social media platform considers the user likely to report the post based on their history of reporting.

In light of this new feature, it is important to highlight the use of reporting features when experiencing harmful online content. If you want to find out more about various reporting routes across some of the most well-known social media platforms, take a look at the Report Harmful Content advice. As well as giving information on reporting, if you have had a response from an online platform to a report that was not the outcome you were hoping for, you can also report the content to Report Harmful Content direct for further review, explanation and escalation.

Instagram Privacy and Safety

There are already established privacy and security settings that Instagram incorporates, including how to manage requests, comments and reporting content. To find out more about these you can download the SWGfL Instagram Privacy and Safety checklist from for free or is also available to buy from our online store.

Share your feedback:

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.