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Instagram brings in massive update that's bad news for 'scammers and criminals'

Instagram brings in massive update that's bad news for 'scammers and criminals'

Meta has introduced a huge security upgrade

Instagram's parent company Meta is set to bring in massive changes to the app which it says 'makes it more difficult' for 'scammers and criminals'.

Announcing the news today (11 April), Meta said it was testing new features that it hopes that it will 'protect young people from sextortion and intimate image abuse'.

It also wants to make it harder for those with sinister intentions to find and interact with teenagers.

The company is also putting an emphasis on encouraging those who might be about to fall victim of sextortion, or those who have realised they've been scammed, to come forward and report the issues.

What will Instagram now do with nude images?

One of the key features that'll eventually be rolled out to users is a new nudity protection feature in Instagram DMs.

It'll automatically blur images that Instagram's system automatically detects as containing nudity.

Messages will then be sent to people to think twice before sending nude images to others.

The new warning coming to Instagram (Instagram)
The new warning coming to Instagram (Instagram)

"This feature is designed not only to protect people from seeing unwanted nudity in their DMs, but also to protect them from scammers who may send nude images to trick people into sending their own images in return," Meta says.

"Nudity protection will be turned on by default for teens under 18 globally, and we’ll show a notification to adults encouraging them to turn it on."

New warnings

If the nudity protection filter is turned on, those who send the explicit photos will be given reminders about being cautious about sending such images, as well as reminding them that they can unsend the photos.

Instagram's aim is to stop sextortion, which is where scammers convince people to send explicit photos before using them as ransom for other demands.

Instagram app (Sheldon Cooper/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Instagram app (Sheldon Cooper/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

John Shehan, Senior Vice President, National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC), said: "Companies have a responsibility to ensure the protection of minors who use their platforms. Meta’s proposed device-side safety measures within its encrypted environment is encouraging.

"We are hopeful these new measures will increase reporting by minors and curb the circulation of online child exploitation."

'Severe action' against those targeting people

Meta says it takes 'severe action' against those who use its app for sextortion.

It says: "We remove their account, take steps to prevent them from creating new ones and, where appropriate, report them to the NCMEC and law enforcement.

"Our expert teams also work to investigate and disrupt networks of these criminals, disable their accounts and report them to NCMEC and law enforcement – including several networks in the last year alone."

The new features on Instagram will be rolled out in the coming weeks to a small group of app users.

It'll then be rolled out worldwide at a later date.

Featured Image Credit: Sheldon Cooper/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images/Meta

Topics: Facebook, Instagram, Meta, Technology, UK News, US News, World News, Social Media