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Instagram Bans Adults From DM’ing Children

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Instagram has announced plans to introduce a new safety feature, designed to keep teens under the age of 18 safe while using the app.

The tech giant says it will soon ban adults from being able to private message under 18s who don’t follow them back.

If someone over the age of 18 does try to DM a minor who doesn’t follow them back, they’ll receive a notification telling them that sending a message to that account is not an option.

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Instagram Bans Adults From DMing ChildrenInstagram

As well as sending a message to the adult, the app will also send messages to the teens, encouraging them to be careful in communicating with adults who they have previously communicated with before.

‘Safety notices in DMs will notify young people when an adult who has been exhibiting potentially suspicious behaviour is interacting with them in DMs,’ Instagram explained in a blog post.

‘For example, if an adult is sending a large amount of friend or message requests to people under 18, we’ll use this tool to alert the recipients within their DMs and give them an option to end the conversation, or block, report, or restrict the adult.’

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Instagram Bans Adults From DMing ChildrenInstagram

Of course, the safety setting is reliant on users providing their real age when signing up to the social media app. However, Instagram bosses are also developing technology capable of predicting the age of users from their images.

Instagram rules and regulations mean that only teens aged 13 and above are allowed to create an account, though bosses are well aware that children below this age regularly create accounts by lying about their date of birth.

‘To address this challenge, we’re developing new artificial intelligence and machine learning technology to help us keep teens safer and apply new age-appropriate features,’ the blog continued.

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Instagram Bans Adults From DMing ChildrenInstagram

Instagram is also looking into ways to make it more difficult for adults who have been behaving suspiciously to interact with teens on the app. One method could include stopping adults from being able to see teens popping up in ‘suggested users,’ or from seeing their content on the ‘explore’ page.

Ordinarily when a person creates an Instagram account, the setting is automatically on ‘public,’ unless manually changed to ‘private,’ however the app will now ask under 18s which they’d prefer from the beginning, explaining the difference between the two.

Overall, the app has committed to creating a safer space for everyone, but particularly those under the age of 18.

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Topics: Technology, Instagram, Now, Social Media

Credits

Instagram blog
  1. Instagram blog

    Continuing to Make Instagram Safer for the Youngest Members of Our Community

Emma Rosemurgey
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