Tech & The Web

Why Report Spam to Instagram If They’d Do This?


One thing that royally ticks me off these days is spam. But when I decided to report spam comments to Instagram, things took a weird turn.

When you report spam to a social media platform, what do you expect to happen next? If you’re like me, you would expect the platform to look into the report you made. You probably expect them to take action, up to and including (hopefully) banning the account that left it.

If I could have a few superpowers, one might specifically target spammers. I’d like to be able to send a targeted electromagnetic pulse just strong enough to fry the spammer’s electronics. That strikes me as a fair punishment, at least.

But a few weeks after I reported an incident of spam to my Instagram account recently, I received a response I wasn’t expecting.

The headline of the message Instagram read, “Your report has been closed.”

Well, that’s fine, I thought. They’ve taken action.

But as I read further, I found out something very different

Just one line down, I saw the surprise. Just check out that first line (emphasis is mine):

Because of the high volume of reports we receive, our team hasn’t been able to review this chat.
However there are a few things you can do to avoid seeing content you find upsetting. 
If you don’t want to see [user] on Instagram, you can unfollow, mute or block them to hide their posts and comments from your feed. You can also add specific words, phrases and emojis to your comment filter in your settings. 
If you would like to report this chat for content that goes against our Community Guidelines, like hate speech, racist language, or bullying, please submit another report. 

Let’s take this line by line, starting with that first one.

They haven’t had time to deal with my complaint because they receive too many reports? Well, maybe — just maybe — that’s a sign they should do more to deal with spam on their platform, not less. Maybe they need to take spam a little more seriously. It sounds like closing a report without even bothering to read it isn’t serving their platform all that well. It’s certainly not serving their users all that well. In fact, that’s a waste of my time.

As for the actions I can take to block spammers, I already know that. Typically, I delete the comment and block the person immediately. But once in a while, if I see it’s the kind of spam many might receive, I report it. I do that for an important reason: I’m hoping Instagram will block these bad actors from bothering groups of users rather than just me.

It then gives me one more option: If I would like to report this chat, I can submit another report. Seriously? Why would I possibly do that?

If they won’t trouble themselves to deal with one complaint, why would I expect anything more the second time around?

I shouldn’t have to submit a second report. If they’d dealt with the first one, there’d be no problem left to deal with. (At least, not with that same account.)

If they’re not going to do any better than that, they should disable the reporting mechanism. It’s obviously useless anyway. They’re only wasting the time and effort of those who care enough to want to make the community better…while letting the spammers get away with more of the same.

How disappointing, Instagram. How disappointing!

the authorPatrick
Patrick is a Christian with more than 30 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.