Meta Launches Privacy Features For Facebook, Instagram; Here's How It Will Benefit Teens

Meta Launches Privacy Features For Facebook, Instagram

Meta is gradually launching tools to help teenagers protect their privacy and stay safe on Facebook and Instagram. These tools will help add filters and screening which limit exposure and access to teens on social media platforms. Additionally, there will be cautionary prompts displayed while using Facebook and Instagram. Let's look at the ways Meta is trying to protect teens.


Facebook And Instagram Get Additional Filters To Protect Teens

Teenagers on social media platforms face several risks and have a much higher chance of being exploited or bullied. Regulators and governments across the world have been trying hard to ensure social media platforms are safe for teens and young adults.

Meta is now deploying several features meant to protect this vulnerable group. The primary agenda is to shield young minds, "from harm and seek to create safe, age-appropriate experiences for teens on Facebook and Instagram," indicated Meta. The new tools are an extension of the measures deployed last year. Meta has confirmed it is deploying tools to thwart attempts of communication between teenagers and suspicious adults.

"We're now testing ways to protect teens from messaging suspicious adults they aren't connected to, and we won't show them in teens' People You May Know recommendations. A "suspicious" account is one that belongs to an adult that may have recently been blocked or reported by a young person, for example. As an extra layer of protection, we're also testing removing the message button on teens' Instagram accounts when they're viewed by suspicious adults altogether."

Meta is basically tweaking the "People You May Know" feature to filter out "suspicious" accounts. Instagram accounts tagged as suspicious won't even have access to the button that allows communicating with teens.

On the other hand, if a teen starts messaging an adult, they will be first greeted by a prompt asking them if they know the person in real life. This will be followed by a Safety Notice pop-up, which will list the options to prevent further contact with the person.

Meta Launches Privacy Features For Facebook, Instagram

New Teenage Users Will Have Restricted Access?

New Facebook accounts of users under the age of 16 (or 18 in certain countries), will automatically have the most restricted options pre-selected on some privacy settings. These will include visibility to friends and acquaintances list, people and pages they follow, tagged posts, and who is allowed to comment on posts. Similar settings will be applicable to the Instagram accounts of teens.

Meta has also assured that it is fighting the growing menace of non-consensual sharing of intimate images. The company is working with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) to help teens. It is not immediately clear how Meta would help teens "regain control of their content," but the company has assured it would offer more information in the near future.

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