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Instagram Works to Make Its Platform a Safer Place For Young Users

In our world today, the people who are exposed to social media such as Instagram are becoming younger and younger. However, we all know that all social media platforms are home to misinformation and various sensitive topics. And when we let younger audiences be exposed to such, it can give a negative effect on them. 

In a statement released on March 16, Instagram expressed how important it is for them to protect young users. For this reason, it decided to publicize the new resources and features that it created as a part of its ongoing efforts of keeping the young community safe. 

Instagram Works to Make Its Platform a Safer Place For Young Users

Additionally, the social media giant has also provided an update about its work to better understand the age in such a way that helps keep users, especially the young ones, safe.

Below are the updates to keep young users safe that Instagram released:

Providing Parents and Teens With New Resources to Support Them

Instagram wants parents to have access to the information that would allow their teens to have a positive and safe experience while using the platform. The social media giant partnered with ConnectSafely and The Child Mind Institute in the US in order to publish a new Parents Guide.

The said guide informs parents about the privacy settings and safety tools that they can use to monitor their teens’ Instagram usage. In addition, Instagram has also included a list of conversation starters and tips. Parents can use this in navigating discussions with their teens about their presence online. 

Right now, the updated guide has already launched with Instagram’s expert partners in countries including Brazil, Argentina, Indonesia, India, Mexico, Singapore, and Japan. These are also countries most popular for people of all ages who buy Instagram followers for their accounts, often with their parent's money.

Instagram Improves Its Method of Understanding Its Users’ Real Age

The Facebook-owned social media platform requires its users to be at least 13 years old before they can create an account. However, not everyone is honest about their age because it is very easy to enter a fake age on the platform when signing up. 

Instagram wants to do better and stop people who are 12 years old and below from signing up on its platform. However, verifying the real age of people can be a complex thing to do. In fact, many platforms in the social media industry are also grappling with it.

To address this difficulty, Instagram is now developing new machine learning technology and artificial intelligence. Its aim is to keep teens safer and apply new age-appropriate features.

Restricting Direct Messages Between Teens and the Adults That They Do Not Follow

Instagram aims to protect teens from unwanted contact from adults. For this reason, it is now introducing a new feature that prevents adults from sending private messages to people who are under 18 years old and do not follow them on Instagram. 

For instance, when an adult tries to send a message to a teen who is not following them, they will receive a notification that direct messaging is not an option. 

This feature depends on the platform’s work in predicting peoples’ age through artificial intelligence. It will also rely on the age that users give when they sign up for an account. As the social media giant is moving to end-to-end encryption, it is beginning to invest in features that aim to protect the privacy and safety of people without accessing the content of their DMs. 

Instagram Works to Make Its Platform a Safer Place For Young Users

Making It Harder For Adults to Find and Follow Teen Users

The social media giant is also looking for ways that it can do to make finding and following teens more difficult. An example of this is not displaying teen accounts on adults’ “Suggested Users.” This way, they will be prevented from discovering and viewing teen content in Explore or Reels. Their comments on public posts by teens will also be hidden automatically. 

Encouraging Teens to be More Cautious About Interacting Through DMs

Apart from preventing adults from interacting with teens who are not following them, Instagram will start using prompts and safety notices. This effort will encourage teens to be more cautious in interacting with adults that they are connected to in the app. 

Safety notices will appear in DMs to notify young users when the adult they are interacting with is exhibiting potentially suspicious behaviors. 

For instance, if an adult is repeatedly sending friend or message requests to someone who is younger than 18 years old, the safety notices will alert the recipients in their DMs. They will also be given an option to end the conversation, block, report, or restrict the adult who is trying to connect with them.

Prompting Teens to Make Their Instagram Accounts Private

A private account means more protection for teens. This is because they will be able to better control who can see their posts and interact with them. 

Recently, Instagram added a step when a teen under 18 years old signs up for Instagram. This step will give them the option to keep their account public or private. The aim of this move is to encourage young users to set their accounts on private by providing them information about what the different settings mean. 

Moreover, the social media giant is aware that young users like aspiring creators and athletes are finding value in public accounts. This is the reason why teens can still opt to keep their accounts public after they have learned about their options. 

If a teen still chooses to keep their account public, they will receive a notification later. That notification will tell them about the benefits of a private account. They will also be reminded to check their settings. 

Instagram Works to Make Its Platform a Safer Place For Young Users

In addition, Instagram is also assessing added measures that it can take to protect young people who use Instagram. These measures include additional privacy settings. 

Furthermore, Instagram believes that each user should have a safe and supported experience in using the platform. This is the reason why the social media giant is constantly publishing updates about its efforts to protect users regardless of their age.

Date: May 12, 2021 / Categories: Interesting, / Author: Joy P


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