INSTAGRAM’S EFFORT TO MAKE A SAFE ENVIRONMENT FOR YOUNG USERS
The photo-sharing platform will now be safer for teens by limiting the potential interactions with adults. Instagram will no longer allow adults to send messages to teens who do not follow them. Instagram will also send safety prompts to teens if they DM adults with “potentially suspicious behavior.”
These safety prompts will give teenagers the option to report or block adults who are messaging them. The prompts will also remind young users not to feel pressured to respond to messages and to “be careful sharing photos, videos, or information with someone you don’t know.” The update will appear in some countries by the end of the month and will be available globally soon.
The Facebook owned platform reveals, new feature relies on artificial intelligence and machine learning technology to determine a user’s true age. Instagram says it requires users to be at least 13, but young people can lie about their date of birth and hence the new technology will help keep teens safer by applying new age-appropriate features.
In addition to preventing conversations between adults and teens who do not follow each other, Instagram says it will start using safety notices to encourage teens to be cautious in conversations with adults they are already connected to. These notices 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, Instagram will 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,” Instagram wrote in a press release.
Instagram is also exploring ways to make it more difficult for adults who have been exhibiting potentially suspicious behavior to interact with teens. In coming weeks, Instagram app will restrict these adults from seeing teen accounts in “suggested users,” preventing them from discovering teen content in reels or their explore page, and automatically hiding their comments on public posts by teens.