Teens across Instagram and Facebook can breathe a sigh of relief, as Meta rolls out stricter private messaging settings designed to safeguard them from unwanted contact. This overhaul comes amidst mounting pressure to create a safer online environment for young users.
Here’s the rundown of the new measures
- By default, teens (under 16 in most regions, under 18 in some) can only be messaged or added to group chats by people they already follow or are connected to. This means no more random DMs from strangers!
- Teens in supervised accounts get an extra layer of protection. Any attempts to change these default settings require parental approval, empowering parents to guide their teens’ online interactions.
- Facebook Messenger joins the party with similar restrictions. Teen accounts will only receive messages from friends or phone contacts.
- Meta’s tackling inappropriate content too. A new feature in the works aims to protect teens from receiving and sending potentially harmful images in their messages, even in encrypted chats. More details are expected later this year.
Parents rejoice! You now have a bigger say in shaping your teens’ online experiences.
Here’s what’s changed
- No more passive notifications. When your teen (under 16) wants to loosen their privacy settings, like making their profile public, you’ll be notified and have the power to approve or deny the request.
- Empowering control. This update gives you greater oversight over your teens’ safety and privacy, while still respecting their autonomy within their existing social circles.
These changes are a significant step forward. However, concerns remain about potential loopholes and the effectiveness of these measures in curbing all forms of online harm. Nevertheless, this move by Meta demonstrates a commitment to creating a safer digital space for young users.