Categories: Tech

Meta is finally trying to protect teens from ‘suspicious adults’ on Instagram and Facebook

In an effort to better protect underage users, Meta is adjusting default privacy settings on Facebook and Instagram to limit contact from “suspicious adults.”

Now, every time a teen joins Facebook, their account will automatically have stronger privacy protections. This includes, but is not limited to, deciding who can see your friends list, which Pages they follow, and who can comment on your posts. For accounts created before this update, metastates (opens in a new tab) it will start to push those users to adopt that same configuration, but it will not force it. If all of this sounds familiar, it’s because Instagram implemented very similar changes

in 2021 to protect the youth there.

Power to the user

Meta goes on to say that it is working on new ways to prevent blocked and reported accounts from communicating with underage users.

One way it will do this on Instagram is, as part of a test, to remove the message button, making it impossible for predatory adults to use Instagram messaging to contact teen users directly.

Additionally, the People You May Know on Facebook recommendation feed will no longer display these flagged accounts.

Related Post

Coming to both Messenger and Instagram is a new notification that encourages teens to use safety tools whenever they feel “uncomfortable” during a conversation. A notification will ask users if they know the person who just sent them a message. If ‘No’ is chosen, both applications will display a series of actions

(opens in a new tab) they can take, such as blocking the account or reporting them.

According to the announcement, Facebook’s new default privacy settings will roll out today (November 21); presumably, so are the other changes. We have reached out to Meta for clarification. This story will be updated if we hear back.

In addition to the update, Meta announced that it will partner with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) to create a new platform to “prevent [teenagers’] intimate images are posted online” and spread over the Internet. Their goal is to help underage users “regain control” of these leaked images and discourage such acts in the first place.

mixed messaging

While it’s great to see more security features being added, Meta’s recent record on privacy has been mixed. On the one hand, the company improved Instagram blocking system

to prevent trolls from harassing you further back in October. But at the same time, the platform implemented a new precise location feature that can make users vulnerable to stalkers or theft.

It’s quite a confusing message that could lead to privacy concerns for all users; especially teenagers. So be sure to check TechRadar’s Best Parental Control App for 2022.


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