Instagram restricts messages between teens and adults

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Brian Adam
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Instagram today launched a series of improvements aimed at guaranteeing the protection of the youngest users on the social network, especially considering the possibility that they may have contact with adults who do not have too legitimate intentions with them.

Instagram suggests minors to make their account private

Just over a year ago, the company launched a series of Guides for Parents informing them of how they should act to ensure the safety of their children. Now, in addition, Instagram has incorporated the following improvements:

-Restriction of Direct Messages between adolescents and adults. Instagram wants to prevent the youngest users of the platform from receiving messages with dishonest proposals from adults whom they do not follow and who, therefore, are not supposedly from their family circle or friends.

In this sense, Instagram has launched a new function that prevents adults from sending messages to those under 18 who do not follow them. If they try to do so, from now on a notification will appear stating that it is not possible to send a Direct Message to that person who does not follow you.

To determine the age of the user, in addition to taking into account the age indicated by the user when registering on Instagram, the social network has also indicated that it will use machine learning technology to determine the age of the user, in case he lied to the user. check in.

-Make it difficult for adults to find and follow adolescents. The company has indicated that it will begin to analyze how to make it difficult for adults who have shown potentially suspicious behavior to interact with adolescents on the social network.

Among other measures, Instagram is considering restricting them from seeing teen accounts in the “Suggested users” section or from discovering content from young users on Reels or the Explore tab.

Also consider automatically hiding your comments on teen posts. At the moment none of these measures have been adopted, which as we say will begin to be valued in the coming weeks.

-Encourage teens to make their accounts private. Instagram has added a new step when it comes to registering in the social network and offers all those under 18 the possibility to choose between a public or private account, encouraging them to make it private and informing them of what this means.

Already TikTok earlier this year has made, by default, all teen accounts private, in order to protect them. Instagram does not get to make them private by default but it does warn and advises that they be done. Those under the age of 18 may continue to opt for a public account if they so decide after learning about the options and Instagram will send them a reminder later.

-Improvements to know the real age of the people. Many users lie about their date of birth when registering on Instagram (since, for example, in Spain it is necessary to be 14 years old to be able to use the platform). Instagram has announced that it is developing new technologies based on machine learning to detect these lies and preserve the safety of adolescents.

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