Hey random stranger, you can no longer send Instagram messages to teens
In a bid to create a safer and more controlled online environment for teenagers, Meta is rolling out some new features and adjustments for teens’ Instagram and Messenger. No more sliding into teenagers’ DMs, and parents will have more power over shaping their teens’ online experiences.
Protecting teens from unwanted interactions
From now on, teens under 16 (or 18 in some countries) will no longer receive DMs from anyone they don’t follow or aren’t connected to. This includes other teens, offering extra protection from unwanted and potentially risky interactions. This feature will not only be set as default, but it will be difficult or impossible to turn it off (unlike private accounts for teens).
Teens without parental supervision can’t directly turn off the feature. However, they can request their parents add them as a supervisor and then ask them to change the DM settings. As for teens with parental supervision, they also can’t directly turn off the feature without their parents knowing. If they try to edit their DM settings and choose to see messages from anyone, their parent will receive a notification. From there on, they can approve or deny the request.
Similar changes are also coming to Messenger, ensuring that folks under 16/18 can only receive messages from Facebook friends or trusted contacts. There’s also a new feature in development. It’s aimed at protecting teens from receiving and sending inappropriate images in their DMs, even in encrypted chats.
In the announcement, Meta also shared that parents can now approve or deny their teens’ (under 16) requests to change their default safety and privacy settings. This includes toggling account privacy, adjusting sensitive content controls, and modifying DM settings. Meta says these tools are designed to “facilitate offline conversations between parents and their teens, as they navigate their online lives together and decide what’s best for them and their family.”
Larry Magid, CEO of ConnectSafely, supporting the changes, commented:
“Empowering parents to approve or deny requests to change their teen’s default safety and privacy settings gives parents the tools they need to help protect their teens, while at the same time respecting their teens’ privacy and ability to communicate with their friends and family.”
These changes are slowly rolling out for both new and existing Instagram accounts. Teens already on Instagram will receive notifications informing them of the updated DM settings. And it looks like Instagram has finally added a feature that’s actually useful (unlike “Nighttime Nudges” and “Take a Break“).
[via Ars Technica]
Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.