Instagram Live is an incredibly popular way for creators, influencers, businesses, and everyday users to connect with their audience in real time. However, managing comments during a live stream can be challenging. Toxic, inappropriate, or excessive comments can derail the conversation and create a negative environment.
Fortunately, Instagram provides tools for hosts to disable comments or hide toxicity during live streams. Here is a detailed guide on how to use these tools effectively.
Table of Contents
Why Disable Comments or Hide Toxicity
There are several good reasons hosts may want to disable comments or hide toxicity during an Instagram Live:
- Reduce distractions: Having to monitor and respond to a constant stream of comments can be distracting and make it difficult to focus on the actual content of the live stream. Disabling comments allows the host to fully focus on what they are streaming.
- Control negativity: Inappropriate, toxic, or excessive comments can derail the conversation and upset viewers. Hiding this type of content maintains a positive atmosphere.
- Stop spam: Spam comments advertising unrelated products or services clutter up the comment section. Disabling comments prevents spam entirely.
- Protect privacy: Hosts discussing sensitive topics may want to disable comments to protect their privacy or the privacy of others featured in the video.
How to Disable Comments as the Host
Disabling comments completely during an Instagram Live is straightforward:
- Start an Instagram Live as usual from your profile.
- Once you are live, tap the three dots in the comment box at the bottom of the screen.
- Select Turn off commenting from the menu.
This will immediately hide all previous comments and prevent any new comments from viewers. The comment box will now read “Comments Off” to indicate they have been disabled.
To re-enable comments, simply repeat the process and choose Turn on commenting.
How to Hide Toxicity with Filters
Instead of completely disabling comments, Instagram also provides tools for hosts to filter out and hide toxicity – keeping constructive comments visible.
Hide Offensive Keywords
Instagram has an Auto-Filter option that will automatically hide comments containing offensive words, phrases, or emojis:
- Go to your profile and tap the three lines menu in the top right.
- Choose Settings.
- Select Privacy > Comments.
- Turn on Hide Offensive Comments.
With this enabled, any comment containing an offensive term will automatically be hidden during your live streams.
Manually Hide Comments
You can also manually hide specific comments you deem inappropriate. To do this:
- During your live stream, press and hold down on a comment.
- Tap Hide to remove the comment.
Other viewers will no longer see this comment. You can repeat this process to hide multiple comments.
If a particular viewer is repeatedly posting unwanted comments, you can block them entirely:
- Tap their username to open their profile.
- Tap Block to block the user.
This prevents them from viewing or commenting during your current and future live streams.
Limit Comments to Followers Only
You can restrict comments to only people who follow you:
- Go to your profile and tap the three lines menu.
- Choose Settings > Privacy > Comments.
- Toggle on Only allow comments from people I follow.
This will automatically hide all comments from users who don’t follow you.
Tips for Comment Moderation
- Briefly explain at the start of your live stream that you have comment moderation enabled. This sets expectations.
- If manually hiding comments, do so discretely by switching to another camera or pointing it away while you take action.
- For longer streams, appoint one or two moderators you trust to help hide unwanted comments using the above tools.
- Periodically re-enable comments for a short time to encourage positive engagement.
Proactively moderating comments with Instagram’s built-in tools allows you to connect meaningfully with your audience during live streams, without the distraction or negativity of toxic comments.
Experienced Instagram User
As an experienced Instagram user who has been on the platform for over 5 years, I’ve hosted my fair share of live streams. Over time, I learned first-hand some best practices for managing comments and hiding toxicity.
The key is being proactive. I always clearly explain my commenting rules and expectations at the start of a stream. This primes viewers that inappropriate comments will be deleted. During the broadcast I discretely keep an eye on new comments as they come in. I give friendly warnings when needed, and use Instagram’s tools to hide or block toxicity.
Occasionally I still get overwhelmed by a barrage of comments. In these cases I’ve found it best to simply disable all comments for a short period of time. This gives me a chance to reset and refocus. Then I re-enable them to keep that positive engagement going.
Staying aware and promptly using the built-in moderation tools has really improved my live stream experiences. Toxicity can derail an otherwise great broadcast, so learning to effectively disable comments or hide inappropriate content is crucial for any Instagram host.