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Meta Announces Stricter Safety Measures for Teens on Instagram and Facebook

As Adam Mosseri just shared on Instagram, Meta (aka Facebook and Instagram) is taking additional steps to help protect teens from unwanted contact and to make it simpler for parents to shape their teens’ online experiences.

Specifically, they’re announcing: 

  • Stricter private messaging defaults for teens: Meta is turning off teens’ ability to receive messages from people they don’t follow or aren’t connected to, by default. This means teens can only be messaged or added to group chats by people they already follow or are connected to.
  • How is this different from what you already do?  Right now, adults over 19 can’t DM teens who don’t follow them. “We’re building on this so that no one – regardless of their age – can DM a teen who doesn’t follow them by default,” says Mosseri. 
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  • New parental controls: Now, parents using Instagram’s parental supervision tools will be prompted to approve or deny teens’ requests to change their default safety and privacy settings to a less strict state – rather than just being notified of the change.
  • Plans for new messaging safety feature: In the coming months, they’ll launch a new feature designed to help protect people, including teens, from seeing potentially inappropriate images in their messages from people they’re connected to, and to discourage them from sending these images.
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These build on Meta’s announcements earlier this month to hide potentially sensitive content from teens on Instagram and Facebook, and to roll out new nighttime nudges to encourage teens to close Instagram at night – as well as the existing 30+ tools and features to support teens and families.

Want to read more? Visit Meta’s Family Center to learn more about the 30+ tools and features we’ve developed to support teens and families, as well as resources from experts.

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