WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- Instagram has invoked new policies that would make the platform safer to minor users against adults who exhibit “suspicious behavior.”
- Malicious adults will now be prohibited from messaging minors if they don’t follow them.
- Teen users should reveal their real age when signing up in order to protect them from malicious adult users, the social app said.
Instagram implemented new policies on Tuesday in a bid to make the social app safer for young users by restricting interactions with adults.
In an announcement posted on its website, the platform will now prohibit adults from sending direct messages to minors if the minor does not follow them.
Instagram said that minor users will receive notifications if they made contact with adults who have “been exhibiting suspicious behavior” which includes sending out a “large amount of friend or message requests to people under 18.”
The platform will also set prompts that will allow young users not to feel intimidated by adults who continuously send messages.
The new policy will be implored in several nations by the end of March and would be made available worldwide soon.
The platform also announced that they will launch efforts that would make “suspiciously behaving” adults encounter difficulties in finding minors in other Instagram sections like Reels and the Explore tab. Comments of adults on minor’s public posts can also be concealed.
Instagram, though, noted that teen users would need to disclose their real age when creating an IG account.
“We require everyone to be at least 13 to use Instagram and have asked new users to provide their age when they sign up for an account for some time… While many people are honest about their age, we know that young people can lie about their date of birth,” the platform said in their announcement.
“We want to do more to stop this from happening, but verifying people’s age online is complex and something many in our industry are grappling with.”
Instagram announced that they were building “new artificial intelligence and machine learning technology to protect minors from possible perpetrators. Teenage users are strongly encouraged to switch their profiles in private mode.
“We believe that everyone should have a safe and supportive experience on Instagram,” the company said. “These updates are a part of our ongoing efforts to protect young people, and our specialist teams will continue to invest in new interventions that further limit inappropriate interactions between adults and teens.”