Meta announced today it introduces new privacy updates for teens on Instagram and Facebook. Specifically, anyone under 16 or under 18 in some countries will now have more private settings available by default when they join Facebook.
For teens already using the app, Facebook will encourage them to choose more personal settings in terms of who can see their friend lists, the posts they are tagged in, the people and lists they follow, and who is allowed to comment. in their public posts. Facebook’s privacy update comes more than a year after Instagram went into default young user accounts to private accounts upon registration.
Meta is also testing ways to protect teenagers from messages to suspicious adults they are not related to. An example of a suspicious account is an adult account that was recently banned or reported by a young user. On Facebook, Meta will not show suspicious accounts in “People You May Know” teen recommendations. Meta is also testing removing the message button on teen Instagram accounts when viewed by suspicious adults.
In addition, Meta is working with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) to create a global platform for teens who are concerned that their intimate images may be posted online without their consent. The purpose of the platform is to help Mete prevent the publication of intimate images of a teenager on the Internet. The platform will operate similarly to the current Meta system designed to prevent the sharing of intimate images from adults. Meta says that once the platform is built, other companies in the tech industry can use it.
“We are working closely with NCMEC, experts, academics, parents and victim advocates around the world to help develop the platform and ensure it meets the needs of teens so they can regain control of their content in these dire situations,” Meta said in a post in blog. “We will have more information on this new resource in the coming weeks.”
Meta is also working with Thorn and their NoFiltr brand to create educational materials which reduce the shame and stigma surrounding intimate images. Educational materials will aim to empower teens to seek help and take control if they are subject to sextorsion extortion.