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Instagram is introducing new measures to protect teenage users, such as using AI to determine age and locking certain features.
The measures include blocking content from adults and preventing them from direct messaging teens who don’t follow them.
The move forms part of Instagram’s effort to promote privacy and protect its younger users.
Instagram restricts adult DMs to teens
To protect teenage audiences, Instagram will not allow adults to send Direct Messages to users under the age of 18 if they are not a follower.
If an adult tries to, they will receive a notification telling them that messaging is not an option.
The feature is part of the platform’s efforts to protect privacy. It plans to offer end-to-end encrypted messaging in the future.
Also, Instagram will put up safety prompts to encourage teenagers to be cautious when chatting with adults.
A notification in Direct Messaging will tell them if the adult has been behaving suspiciously.
For example, a prompt will come up if an adult has been sending a large number of friend requests to users under the age of 18. Instagram will roll out this feature in some countries this month.
Recently, Instagram also introduced a new option for users under 18 where they can choose between a public and private account when signing up.
After signing up, the users can switch between the two account types.
Other features Instagram is looking at include preventing adults from seeing teenage accounts in ‘Suggested Users’ and discovering teenage content in Reels and Explore.
They are also looking at automatically hiding adult comments on public posts from teenagers.
Ages 13 and up, with parental support
Instagram requires its users to be at least 13 years old to sign up for an account.
But it’s easy to lie about one’s age on a digital platform. To combat this, Instagram is developing AI to determine a user’s rea; age. AI will also be used to supply other age-appropriate content.
Meanwhile, the platform has also created a Parents Guide that includes safety tools and tips for those whose children have accounts.
The guide was created in partnership with several child safety groups.
It is now available in Argentina, Brazil, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico and Singapore, and will be available in other countries soon.
Feature image: Unsplash/Thought Catalog