Instagram is ramping up efforts to remove predators in the app. It has released new features to shield youngsters from adults with ill intentions.
The Facebook-owned social network is rolling out new restrictions. And it will stop any adult from sending messages to users under 18 years old who are not following them.
“When an adult tries to message a teen who doesn’t follow them, they’ll receive a notification that DM’ing them isn’t an option. This feature relies on our work to predict peoples’ ages using machine learning technology, and the age people give us when they sign up,” says Instagram.
Users below 13 years old are not eligible to create an Instagram account. But it has a workaround. You can avoid restrictions by entering a false age of an adult.
Instagram knows how some users bypass this restriction. So, it now wants to implement a new way to catch adults who are using the platform for their evil deeds.
The social network is also adding new notifications in message threads. It will urge young users to be alert in conversations with adults.
“Safety notices in DMs will notify young people when an adult who has been exhibiting potentially suspicious behavior is interacting with them in DMs. For example, if an adult is sending a large amount of friend or message requests to people under 18, we’ll use this tool to alert the recipients within their DMs and give them an option to end the conversation, or block, report, or restrict the adult,” says Instagram.
The notifications will make minors consider the information they share.
Instagram will also implement more restrictions on adults exhibiting potentially suspicious behavior to interact with teens.
“This may include things like restricting these adults from seeing teen accounts in ‘Suggested Users’, preventing them from discovering teen content in Reels or Explore, and automatically hiding their comments on public posts by teens,” explains Instagram.
Instagram will now encourage minors to create privacy restrictions for their accounts. They will receive alerts and prompts as a reminder.
A Parent’s Guide
The 50-page guide titled “A Parent’s Guide to Instagram” was made with The Child Mind Institute and ConnectSafely. It explains Instagram’s privacy and safety features. And it shares tips so parents can navigate properly their talks with their teens about online presence.
Instagram has released many guides for parents. Some of them cover topics on safety and protection. The new guide is the most comprehensive yet.
With a younger audience in mind, Instagram must focus how to curb predatory behavior. And it must also extend the restrictions to the negative impacts of comparison and bullying.
You may download the new Instagram parent’s guide here.