Facebook and Instagram will block DMs to teens unless they’re from a friend

Meta in 2021 is restricted On Instagram, adults can send messages to users under 18 who don’t follow them. Now it’s expanding that rule to protect young teens from potentially unwanted contact. Users under the age of 16 or 18, depending on their country, can no longer receives DMs from anyone Even if they are sent by their teenage friends, they do not follow the standard.

This new security measure applies to both Instagram and Messenger. Especially for Messenger, young users will only be able to receive messages from their Facebook friends or phone contacts. Because this setting is enabled by default, teens with accounts under parental control must have their guardians approve any changes to it. Of course, the setting will depend on the user’s declared age and the Meta technology designed to predict people’s ages, so it’s not 100 percent foolproof.

“We want teens to have a safe, age-appropriate experience in our apps,” Meta said in its announcement. Earlier this month, Meta announced it would do just that start hiding content Regarding teen self-harm, graphic violence, eating disorders and other harmful topics on Instagram and Facebook. If a user is under the age of 16, they will not see posts related to those topics in their Feeds and Stories, even if they are shared by accounts they follow. It also recently introduced a mindfulness feature that will ship “night impulses“To close the app for teens under 18 and go to sleep if they’ve been scrolling for more than 10 minutes.

Meta made these changes after being hit with lawsuits and complaints about how it caters to its younger user base. Unsealed lawsuits have been filed against the company in 33 states accuses Actively targeting children under the age of 13 to use its apps and websites and continuing to collect their information even when aware of their age. A The Wall Street Journal report also accused Instagram of providing “risky images of children as well as overtly sexualized videos” to accounts that follow teenage influencers. In December 2023, the state of New Mexico sued Meta, alleging that Facebook and Instagram algorithms recommended sexually explicit content to minors. And just this month The Wall Street Journal reported unedited internal Meta submissions related to that work. it seems 100,000 child users are suppressed every day Based on staff estimates across Facebook and Instagram, it highlights the need for tougher measures on their platforms.

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