On Instagram and Facebook, new measures to protect teenagers

Meta announced, in a blog post published Monday, November 21, new measures on its two main social networks, Facebook and Instagram. The goal? Reduce the possibility for malicious adults to interact with its youngest users.

For this, Meta now intends to catalog as ” suspicious ” any account belonging to an adult who “was recently blocked or reported by a young person”, explains the company. From there, using different techniques currently in the test phase, Mark Zuckerberg’s firm claims to be able to prohibit these individuals from chatting with minors, by preventing, for example, their profile from appearing in the suggested accounts. to young users or by removing the button allowing them to send a message when they visit a teenager’s profile.

Meta also announces that it will now automatically set up the Facebook accounts of its users under the age of 16 (and under 18 in some countries, without specifying which ones) with more restrictive privacy criteria when they register. As for those who already have an account, they are encouraged by the application to switch to these new settings. A measure that echoes that put in place in 2021 on Instagram, when the company was under fire from critics for the damage generated by its application on young Internet users.

Read also: Instagram is testing new tools to control the age of its users

In parallel with these devices, Meta intends to multiply the notifications and explanations intended for the youngest, by encouraging them, for example, to report an account after having blocked it or by sending them the procedure to follow when they receive inappropriate content from an adult. More generally, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram says it is working with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC, for “National Center for Missing and Exploited Children”) to create a “global platform for teenagers concerned that intimate images they have created may be made public online without their consent”.

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