Instagram is initiating a new policy that will limit interactions between teenagers and adults. The policy is aimed at making the platform safer for young users.
The app has banned adults from sending direct messages to teenagers who don’t follow them. The social media site is also introducing “safety prompts” that will be shown to teens when they DM adults who have been “exhibiting potentially suspicious behavior”.
With the safety prompts, the teenage users will have the option of reporting or blocking the adults who are messaging them. The prompts will also remind them not to feel pressured to respond to messages and to “be careful sharing photos, videos, or information with someone you don’t know”.
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Instagram says suspicious behavior could include sending “a large amount of friend or message requests to people under 18”. Instagram’s moderation systems will flag off notices in response to suspicious behaviour from adult users.
Instagram says it’s developing new “artificial intelligence and machine learning technology” to try and detect a user’s age when they are about to sign up for an account.
The app policy requires that its users are aged 13 and above, however, nothing stops them from lying. The company said it wants to do “more to stop this from happening”.
Instagram will also encourage Teenagers who sign up to Instagram to make their profile private. If they however decide to create a public account anyway, Instagram will notify them “highlighting the benefits of a private account and reminding them to check their settings”.
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