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Instagram bans adults from messaging teenagers who don’t follow them

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With the continued goal to make Instagram safer for the youngest members of its community, Instagram has through a blog post announced that it is introducing new policies limiting interactions between teenagers and adults.

“We believe that everyone should have a safe and supportive experience on Instagram. These updates are a part of our ongoing efforts to protect young people, and our specialist teams will continue to invest in new interventions that further limit inappropriate interactions between adults and teens.”

said Instagram.

The Facebook-owned app has banned adults from direct messaging teenagers who don’t follow them and is introducing “safety prompts” that will be shown to teens when they DM adults who have been “exhibiting potentially suspicious behavior.”

The safety prompts will give teenage users the option to report or block adults who are messaging them. The prompts will remind young users not to feel pressured to respond to messages and to “be careful sharing photos, videos, or information with someone you don’t know.”

Notices will appear when Instagram’s moderation systems spot suspicious behaviour from adult users. The company is not sharing detail on how these systems operate but says such suspicious behaviour could include sending “a large amount of friend or message requests to people under 18.”

The safety feature will reportedly be available in select countries this month and available globally “soon.”

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