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Meta Introduces Stricter Teen Message Rules on Instagram, Messenger

Meta
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This month, Meta Platforms implemented measures to restrict teenagers’ access to potentially sensitive content on Facebook and Instagram. Recent announcements from the social media giant suggest that tighter private message settings will help shield teenagers from unsolicited messages on Facebook and Instagram. To stop messages from accounts they do not follow, Meta will allow new DM (direct messages) restrictions for users under the age of eighteen on Facebook Messenger and Instagram. Under increased scrutiny from regulatory agencies, the action was taken.

Through a blog post on Thursday (January 25), Meta announced that it is bringing stricter private messaging settings for teen users. The social media giant will block unwanted contact by turning off teens’ ability to receive DMs on Instagram and Messenger from anyone they do not follow or aren’t connected to, by default. On Messenger, users aged under 16 years and below 18 years in some countries will only receive messages from their Facebook friends or people they are connected through phone contacts.

Teens can only receive messages or be added to group chats by individuals they already follow or are connected to, according to the most recent default setting. To adjust this setting, teens in accounts under supervision must obtain their parents’ consent. According to Meta, the modification is a component of their efforts to offer “teens-appropriate experiences” across all of their apps.

All users under the age of sixteen or eighteen in some countries will be subject to the new limitations. Meta affirmed that it will communicate the change to current users.

Adults over the age of 19 are already prohibited from messaging teenagers who do not follow the company, which is led by Mark Zuckerberg. Before, Meta only allowed users to send one text-only DM (direct message) to anyone who is not following them.

Further, Meta is now offering parents using its existing supervision tools the ability to approve or deny their teenagers’ requests to change their default privacy and safety settings. “For example, if a teen using supervision tries to change their account from private to public, change their Sensitive Content Control from “Less” to “Standard”, or – now – tries to change their DM settings to hear from people they’re not already following or connected to, their parent will receive a notification prompting them to approve or deny the request”, Meta said.

The new teen safety measures come as Meta is facing pressure from regulators around the globe to limit potentially harmful content on its platforms.

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