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Instagram Is Banning Adults From DMing Users Under The Age Of 18

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Instagram Is Banning Adults From DMing Users Under The Age Of 18

Instagram is introducing a new safety feature that will prevent underage users from being contacted by adults.

The social media app is instituting a ban on anyone over the age of 18 from direct messaging a teenager unless the two already follow each other.

Once the move gets introduced, adults trying to DM someone who is under 18 years old will get a notification telling them this isn't an option.

In a blog post, Instagram said: "This feature relies on our work to predict peoples' ages using machine learning technology, and the age people give us when they sign up. As we move to end-to-end encryption, we're investing in features that protect privacy and keep people safe without accessing the content of DMs."

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Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Teens will also be getting a lesson from the tech giant about being mindful when interacting with people they don't know.

"We'll start using prompts - or safety notices - to encourage teens to be cautious in conversations with adults they're already connected to," Instagram said.

"Safety notices in DMs will notify young people when an adult who has been exhibiting potentially suspicious behavior is interacting with them in DMs.

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"For example, if an adult is sending a large amount of friend or message requests to people under 18, we'll use this tool to alert the recipients within their DMs and give them an option to end the conversation, or block, report, or restrict the adult.

"People will start seeing these in some countries this month, and we hope to have them available everywhere soon."

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Users have to be over the age of 13 to sign up for an Instagram account and the company understands that some people will lie about their date of birth.

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Instagram is still trying to work out the best method for teens to verify their age, however, in the meantime, it will be using artificial intelligence to alert them of accounts that could belong to those under the age limit.

The company will also be introducing a new feature that will highlight accounts who seem to be deliberately targeting teen users.

"In the coming weeks, we'll start exploring ways to make it more difficult for adults who have been exhibiting potentially suspicious behavior to interact with teens," the company said.

"This may include things like restricting these adults from seeing teen accounts in 'Suggested Users', preventing them from discovering teen content in Reels or Explore, and automatically hiding their comments on public posts by teens."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Instagram, News, Social Media

Stewart Perrie
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