Instagram has set new rules to protect children and young people on the platform. Accounts of young users are no longer public.
Instagram has decided to automatically set all new accounts of users under the age of 16 to private. This means that only approved followers can see and like posts from under 16s. As the BBC reports, this shows an effect, because according to tests only one in five young people changes this setting themselves if the account was automatically set to private when it was created.
For already existing accounts, nothing changes for the time being. But if you already have an Instagram account as a minor, you will receive a new message highlighting the advantages of having your profile private.
This decision was made to protect young users. Instagram has been trying for some time to make its platform safer for the younger generation – especially since the company has been repeatedly criticized by youth protection organizations. In addition, Instagram had to face an investigation into the use of data from minors in Europe.
Platform for children
Instagram also wants to create its own platform for children under the age of 13. “The reality is that they are already online and there is no surefire way to make sure they don’t misrepresent their ages on platforms. But we try to build places for them that are made specifically for them and that can be monitored by their parents or guardians, ”Facebook, which Instagram belongs to, said in this regard.
With this, the company also mentions the crux of the whole thing: All these age restrictions have to rely on the fact that the owners of Instagram accounts actually indicate their correct age. However, this is often not the case. To counteract this, Facebook announces to develop artificial intelligence that can find and delete accounts of under 13s.
Instagram does not only work directly with young people but also indirectly with suspicious accounts. For example, “possibly suspicious behaviour” is investigated in the case of profiles. This includes, among other things, if an account is blocked by another person or follows a particularly large number of accounts from children and young people.