The photo sharing service Instagram now has presented several new methods to be used to protect young users.
To use Instagram, you must be at least 13 years old today and the service asks users to indicate their age when they register. As it happens that users lie about their age, Instagram will now be developing a new AI and machine learning technology that will be able to detect this. When it may be ready, and what kind of functions it will enable, is unknown today.
From now on, adults on Instagram will not be able to send messages to users under the age of 18 unless they follow their account back. And even in the event that a minor follows an adult’s account, Instagram will urge the user to be careful in conversations with adults. Instagram will also warn users if an adult’s account has behaved suspiciously. For example, if it sent out a large number of friend requests to people under 18 years of age.
Instagram will also make it harder for adult accounts to find and follow teens from the start. Accounts belonging to minors shall, among other things, not appear as proposed accounts to follow. The social media app will also encourage new users under the age of 18 to make their accounts private right from the start. Even if the user chooses a public account, after a while they will be reminded of the benefits of a private account.
In the US, Instagram has also started collaborating with the Child Mind Institute and Connect Safely to develop a parenting guide to help parents use the latest security tools and privacy settings for the app. The guide also provides tips and conversation starters to help parents talk to their child. The parent guide will be updated over time and will be available in more and more countries.