Instagram plans new youth protection measures

The photo and video platform Instagram wants to expand its youth protection measures in the future to better protect children and young people from cybergrooming. The focus of the changes is on preventing contact from strangers, also known as cybergrooming. Some of the announced changes have already been implemented, others are still to be introduced. klicksafe gives an overview of what will change for underage users on Instagram in the future.

Contacting through strangers

The "Direct Message" function allows users of the photo and video platform to communicate with each other via private messages. Since all messages are delivered here, regardless of whether a person is known or not, unwanted contact can occur. In the future, Instagram wants to prevent this possibility of contact between adults and minors with a new function. Adults will no longer be able to write to other underage users via direct message.

If underage users are already in contact with adults whose behavior Instagram classifies as "suspicious," the underage users will be shown safety instructions and options for action. An example of "suspicious behavior" is the mass sending of friend requests to accounts of minors.

In addition, Instagram wants to make it more difficult for adult users who have shown suspicious behavior to find profiles of underage users in the future.

Increased references to secure privacy settings

On Instagram, as on most social media platforms, it is possible to set one's own profile from public to private. This means that other users can only see the content of your account if you agree to a contact request. The default setting when registering has always been the public profile, regardless of age. In the future, Instagram will inform users under the age of 18 about the option of creating a private account. If the decision is still made in favor of a public profile, Instagram would like to continuously inform underage users that it is still possible to switch.

Instagram has also published a blog post in English on the new youth protection measures.

Further information