Instagram says it will bring in a new feature that will prevent adults from sending a message to people under 18 who don’t follow them. When adults try talking to a teenager who is not following them, they will be receiving a notification telling them direct messaging is not an option on the platform.
Instagram will be sending a notice to remind teenagers that they should not respond to any message that makes them uncomfortable. Teenage users will be shown safety prompts while messaging adults with suspicious behavior. The prompts will remind the youngsters to be careful while sharing information, photos, or videos with someone they don’t know.
Instagram in a press release said, “If an adult is sending a large number of friend requests to users under 18, we will use this tool to alert the recipients and give them an option to end the conversation, or block, report the adult who is messaging them.”
Instagram is adding these safety measures to protect teenagers from unwanted direct messages from adults.
Though, the adult users will be able to privately message the teenagers following them.
Officially, the photo and video sharing app requires users of age 13 or above. The measures will work only if accounts have users’ correct age, but it’s easy for predators to lie about age to avoid restrictions.
The feature relies on Instagram’s new artificial intelligence and machine learning technology to help tackle the challenge of someone’s age verification when they sign up for an account.
The photo and video sharing app said that it wants to do more to stop this but did not go into any detail. The company hopes that the new technology will help teenagers be safe by using the new-age features.
Instagram said that this feature will be available in some countries this month though it did not specify any names. Later on, the company plans to provide this feature globally soon.
In addition to this, Instagram says it will even start using safety notices to encourage teenagers to be cautious in conversations with adults they are already connected to.
New teenage users who sign up to Instagram will also now be encouraged to make their accounts private when they create them. Instagram says that if teenagers do not want to be private when they sign up, they will later on send them a notification underlining the benefits of a private account and remind them to check their settings. The under-16s’ accounts would be made private by default
Instagram said it will even start exploring more ways to make it tough for adults exhibiting potentially suspicious behavior while interacting with the teenagers on the platform. The platform may restrict these adults from seeing any teen accounts in suggested users, prevent them from discovering teen content in reels or on their explore page, and automatically hide their comments on public posts by teens.