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Instagram Introduces A New Feature That Prevents Adults From Sending Messages To People Under 18

by Vanessa Waithera
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Instagram is introducing a new feature that prevents adults from sending messages to people under 18.

If an adult tries to message a teen who doesn’t follow him, he will receive a notification that DM isn’t an option. Teen users will also be shown safety prompts when messaging ‘suspicious’ adults. This is in an attempt to stop predators from going after underage children we think this will be a good move considering the online community is a host to literally anybody.

Instagram released a statement and said:
“We have banned adults from direct messaging teenagers who don’t follow them and introduce ‘safety prompts’ that will be shown to teens when they DM adults who have been ‘exhibiting potentially suspicious behaviour’,”

What will be listed as suspicious behaviour?
The company said that suspicious behaviour could include sending “a large amount of friend or message requests to people under 18.”

Teens will then have the option of taking action.

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”.

When will it be available?
Instagram said that this feature will be available in some countries this month, while it will be available globally “soon”.
The photo-sharing app acknowledged that while many people are honest about their age, young people can lie about their date of birth.

The company noted:
“To address this challenge, we’re developing new Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning technology to help us keep teens safer and apply new age-appropriate features,”

Instagram also announced a new Parents’ Guide with expert partners for more countries globally.

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