Meta to prevent suspicious adults from messaging teens

In an effort to secure teen privacy and security, Meta is introducing changes to default settings for teens’ Facebook and Instagram accounts to limit suspicious adults from messaging them on the platforms.

Default privacy settings will automatically be changed for new accounts created by teens under 16, which will enable their friend list, tagged posts, and pages and accounts they follow, less visible and more private. The company says it will nudge other existing teen accounts to adopt similar settings for themselves.

Last year, Instagram started making teen accounts private by default in order to protect teens online.

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Meta is striving to ensure that suspicious adults don’t message teens on social platforms, by removing teen accounts from the ‘People you may know’ list and removing the DM option for teen accounts on Instagram.

The company has yet to explain how it expects to determine who it deems ‘suspicious’ on the platforms, besides looking into account details of the individual if they have been blocked or reported by another user.

The popular social platform has announced its collaboration with National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) on a global scale to prevent the non-consensual sharing of intimate images of teens.

The system, to be launched in December, would let teens generate a ‘private report’ for images on their device that they don’t want to be shared, which would lead NCMEC platform to create a unique hash to feed into a database that tech companies like Facebook can access and immediately be alerted if a similar image has been shared on the internet.


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