Instagram has announced a number of new policies intended to keep its younger users safe. More specifically, it will be stopping adults from sending messages to teenagers who don’t follow them. It will also be adding safety prompts when teens send messages to adults with “potentially suspicious behaviour”.
For the former, a notification saying that DM’ing them isn’t possible will appear when an adult tries to message a teen who is not following them. As for the latter, Instagram will put up a huge Safety Notice. This tells teens to not feel pressured to respond, as well as letting them choose if they want to block, report, or even restrict the adult. An adult’s account would be marked as suspicious if it has sent a lot of friend or message requests to others under the age of 18.
The way this works is naturally by using the age that users provide when signing up for the service. But beyond that, Instagram says it also relies on machine learning tech to predict people’s age, probably in the event of dishonesty on that front.
For now, there’s no word on when Instagram will be pushing these features out. The company says that it will be rolling them out in some countries this month, without identifying which countries. For everywhere else, the company says it hopes “to have them available everywhere soon”.