Instagram, an American photo and video sharing service, has announced a new policy that would prevent adults from sending private messages to teenagers who do not follow them.
In a blog post on Tuesday, the company said the move became imperative so as to make its platform safer for young users.
According to the Facebook-owned company, the new measure includes “safety prompts” to notify teenagers when they receive messages from adults found to have been “exhibiting potentially suspicious behavior.”
It explained that such “safety prompts” will also give young users the option to report or block adults who are messaging them.
It added that such will also enlighten teenagers on sharing personal information with those they don’t know on the platform.
“To protect teens from unwanted contact from adults, we’re introducing a new feature that prevents adults from sending messages to people under 18 who don’t follow them. This feature relies on our work to predict peoples’ ages using machine learning technology, and the age people give us when they sign up,” it read.
“In addition to preventing conversations between adults and teens who don’t follow one another, we’ll start using prompts — or safety notices — to encourage teens to be cautious in conversations with adults they’re already connected to.”
The company said efforts are also ongoing to make it difficult for adults to find and follow teens on its platform.
Instagram also revealed that it is developing a new artificial intelligence to ensure those signing up for the platform are not below the stipulated age –13.
In the same vein, the company said teenagers signing up for the platform would be encouraged to make their profile private to ensure their safety.
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