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Everything You Need to Know About Instagram Comment Moderation & Privacy

By Çiler Ay on Tue, 30 Jan 2018

Instagram lets us share intimate views of our everyday lives, which makes it an easy target for trolls. And when big brands or influential celebrities use the platform, they may find themselves to be the target not only of abuse, but of spam as well. Moderating Instagram comments is key for growth on the platform, so it’s important that you learn about the moderation tools that are available to you.

What Does a Private Instagram Account Look Like?

If you want to choose who can access your posts, first learn what a private Instagram account is. With a private Instagram profile, only approved users can see your posts. This also means your posts won’t appear under the Activity tab for other users to discover. People may still see your profile (for example, they can click your username when they see you’ve liked a photo), but they won’t be able to see any of the photos you’ve published.

Anyone who’s added you before you’ve set up a private Instagram profile will still be able to see your posts. But don’t worry! You can either block them or force them to unfollow. Simply go to your follower list, press the option button beside their name and click “Remove.” They won’t be notified of this unless they go to your profile.

Making a Private Instagram Account

Setting your account to private is easy. Just go to your profile settings and select the “Private Account” option. That’s it! You may want to assess your follower list using the method above to weed out people you no longer want to have access to your photos.

Having a private account doesn’t mean you can’t share posts to other social networks. You’re still free to share via Facebook and Twitter. When you do so, anyone who can access your posts on that network will also be able to see the photos you share to them—but they won’t be able to see your entire photo collection, just the specific posts you’ve chosen to share.

Tools for Instagram Comment Moderation

If you run a brand profile or hope to gain a following the platform, having a private Instagram profile won’t help you. Thankfully, the platform offers some nice tools for Instagram comment moderation. Moderating Instagram comments effectively is just a matter of positive reinforcement and using the right tools.

First, look into automated comment moderation. To hide inappropriate comments instantly, go to your profile settings, choose “Comments” and then “Hide inappropriate comments.” By default, this will auto-moderate according to a default set of keywords. If you have specific terms you want to block, that’s no problem: Instagram also allows you to set a list of custom keywords as well.

While this auto moderation tool is useful, you might want to spend some time engaging with comments yourself. If someone posts positive engagement, give it a heart to reward the commenter and encourage more quality engagement. If an inappropriate comment or spam slipped through the filter, you can delete the comment, respond to it or block its author right from the comments section.

Make Moderating Instagram Comments More Effective with AI

The native tools for Instagram comment moderation are nice, but they’re not perfect. One of the biggest issues with Instagram’s auto moderation feature is that it doesn’t work with every language. Even the custom keyword feature doesn’t work with languages that don’t use spaces (like Japanese and Chinese). Neither of these are an issue for most Western brands, but if your Instagram is for a global audience, you might need some extra help enforcing policies.

Next, keyword filters don’t always work; they’re easy for trolls and spammers to bypass by intentionally misspelling blocked terms. Finally, if you choose to turn off these filters, all blocked comments will return—the filters don’t actually delete comments, but hide them instead for as long as they’re active.

If you find that commenters are breaking through the filter on a regular basis, you might want to use an AI tool as well. An AI tool like Smart Moderation works with many languages simultaneously, which is perfect for global brands that need help moderating Instagram comments. It’s cross-platform, allowing you to collect and moderate comments from across your different social media profiles. By learning and adapting to your moderation approach, it can help you enforce your policy and spend more time engaging with your fans, not worrying about abuse, spam and trolls.

Finally, an AI-powered blacklist ensures banned keywords aren’t used. Unlike the standard keyword list Instagram offers, the AI-powered blacklist will moderate and block spelling and spacing variations to any keyword you define. This makes it nearly impossible for trolls or spammers to get past.

Do you have any Instagram horror stories dealing with trolls or spam? How did you fix it? We’d love to hear your tips, stories and strategies!