Meta curtails sensitive content exposure for teens across platforms

Meta also aims to disable teens accounts to receive DMs from users they don't follow
The logo of Meta Platforms is seen in Davos, Switzerland, May 22, 2022. Picture taken May 22, 2022. — Reuters
The logo of Meta Platforms is seen in Davos, Switzerland, May 22, 2022. Picture taken May 22, 2022. — Reuters

Meta Platforms recently introduced measures to limit teens' exposure to potentially sensitive content on Instagram and Facebook,

The social media giant is imposing additional restrictions to safeguard teens from unwanted contact on both platforms.

Meta will enforce stricter direct message (DM) settings for users under 18 years old, blocking messages from individuals they do not follow. Teens will be unable to receive DMs from anyone they are not connected to by default. 

This move is part of Meta's commitment to providing age-appropriate experiences for teens and aligns with ongoing scrutiny from regulatory authorities.

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According to Gadgets360, Meta also announced to block unwanted contact, disabling teen accounts from receiving DMs from anyone they don't follow or aren't connected to on Instagram and Messenger. 

Under the new settings, teens can only be messaged or added to group chats by those they follow or are connected to on Meta platforms.

Teens in supervised accounts will require parental permission to modify this setting. These changes apply to users under 16 years of age, or 18 years in some countries, with Meta notifying existing users about the adjustment. Meta said the change is part of its efforts to provide “age-appropriate experiences for teens” across its apps.

Meta already restricts individuals above the age of 19 from messaging teenagers who do not follow them. Before, Meta only allowed users to send text-only messages as their only form of direct message (DM) to those who do not follow them.

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Moreover, Meta is also offering parents to approve or deny their teenagers' requests to modify their default privacy and safety settings using its already-existing supervision tools. 

"For example, if a teen using supervision tries to change their account from private to public, change their Sensitive Content Control from 'Less' to 'Standard', or – now – tries to change their DM settings to hear from people they're not already following or connected to, their parents will receive a notification prompting them to approve or deny the request", Meta said.

Moreover, Meta plans to introduce more features to shield teens from potentially inappropriate images in messages from connected individuals and will provide more details about this functionality later in the year.

These enhanced safety measures for teens come as Meta faces increased pressure from regulators globally to mitigate potentially harmful content on its platforms.