To make the social media platform better for young people, Instagram is adopting new rules that restrict communication between teens and adults. Adults will no longer be able to message teenagers who don’t follow them on the app, and teens will see “security prompts” when they DM adults who have been “exhibiting potentially suspicious behaviour.”
Normally, Instagram users must be 13 or older, but these days, it’s easy to change one’s age. The company said that it needs to do “more to stop this from happening,” but did not elaborate on how the new machine learning systems could deal with this issue.
With this new feature, teenagers will be able to report or blacklist adults who contact them, thanks to protection prompts. The prompts will warn them not to feel obligated to respond to messages and to “be careful sharing photos, videos, or information with someone you don’t know.”
When Instagram’s moderation systems detect suspicious activity by adult users, notices will be displayed. The company is not disclosing specifics of how these programs work, but it does state that unusual activity could include sending “a large amount of friend or message requests to people under 18.”
Making it harder for adults who've shown potentially suspicious behavior to find and follow teens
Sharing more safety tips with parents
Learn more about our work to protect young people on Instagramhttps://t.co/Fac4mXkINz
— Instagram (@instagram) March 16, 2021
New Instagram accounts for teenagers will also be allowed to keep their profiles private. If they build a public account instead, Instagram will give them a message “highlighting the benefits of a private account and reminding them to check their settings.”
Instagram says this feature will be available in certain countries this month and will be available worldwide “soon.”
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