Social Media Safety: Meta Introduces Strict Rules For Messaging Teens On Instagram, Facebook

3 months ago
1 min read

In a move to bolster online safety for teens, Meta has unveiled new features across Facebook and Instagram.

The company is intensifying its efforts to shield teens from unwanted interactions by restricting their ability to receive direct messages (DMs) from individuals they don’t follow or aren’t connected to.

Meta’s announcement emphasized the new default setting, ensuring teens under 16 (or 18 in specific regions) will only receive messages or be added to group chats by those they already follow or are connected with on Instagram. The company is extending these changes to Messenger, reinforcing a controlled environment for teens under 16 (or 18 in certain countries).

Marking a leap in parental controls, Meta is empowering guardians to approve or deny alterations in default privacy settings made by teens. This enhancement builds on earlier features introduced in March 2022, allowing parents to set time limits, schedule breaks, and receive notifications about changes in their teen’s online settings.

Meta’s official statement highlighted the importance of these measures: “Helping teens and their parents feel even more confident that they won’t hear from people they don’t know in their DMs.” The company is actively involving parents in overseeing their teens’ online experiences, now prompting approval for changes in safety and privacy settings.

The company assured existing users of Instagram about these alterations, indicating a notification at the top of their Feed to inform them of the adjustments in message settings.

Meta’s commitment to online safety is evident as it continually evolves its platforms to meet the challenges posed by the digital landscape, setting a new standard for responsible social media practices.

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