A new Instagram feature will block adults from messaging kids that aren’t following them
It will also warn teens of suspicious behaviors by adult accounts.
Instagram is adding new features and updating privacy policies to help deal with something that desperately needs to be addressed – adults messaging minors on the platform.
In a blog post discussing the new features the company is working on, Instagram notes that it is adding protections for young people that would make it so adults couldn’t message them unless the younger person is actually following the adult.
Essentially, it would work like this: If an adult tries to message someone under 18, they will be prompted that they can’t send DMs to that person. The company notes that this can obviously be difficult with people that lie about their age on Instagram but that it is working on new AI and machine learning tech to address that.
In addition, Instagram will also start adding new prompts for young users that give them a quick and easy way to report or block adults that are able to message them. These types of notices will happen when Instagram notices suspicious behavior on the account, like an adult sending large amounts of messages to underage users.
The company also wants to explore limiting exposure for teens’ accounts, making it so adults have a more difficult time finding them in basic search, as well as encouraging minors to make their account private when signing up for Instagram.
As for when all of this should be expected to roll out, it’s still vague. Instagram states it will start testing in select countries in March, before a global rollout “soon.”
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