Instagram updates its teen safety tools to further limit potentially harmful exposure in the app

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Instagram is extend its sensitive content defaults for young users, with all account holders under the age of 16 now placed in its most restrictive exposure category, unless they manually change the setting.

As explained by instagram:

Last December, we announced our commitment to creating a safer search and discovery experience for teens on Instagram. Now we’re defaulting new teens under 16 to the most restrictive setting (aka “Less”) of our “Sensitive Content Control” on Instagram – which works to limit potentially sensitive content in Explore, Explore, Hashtag Pages, Reels, Feed Recommendations and Suggested Accounts.

On top of that, Instagram says it will also urge all teens who are already on Instagram to choose the “Less” setting, while it is also launching a new “settings checker” that encourages teens to update their security and privacy settings.

The change, which Instagram notes builds on its announcement late last year, will mean teens will now automatically have their experience limited, to protect them from potentially harmful exposure in the app. which is consistent with the advice of various health professionals and studies. , who found that Instagram can be especially harmful to teens.

Researchers from the British Royal Society for Public Health found that Instagram usage is often associated with high levels anxiety, depression, bullying, while American Psychological Association reported that:

“TInstagram usage frequency is correlated with depressive symptoms, self-esteem, general and physical anxiety, and body dissatisfaction and that the relationship between Instagram usage and each of these variables is mediated through social comparison orientation.

Indeed, according to Meta’s own internal reporting, which was published as part of last year’s edition Facebook files exposeInstagramchas and has had adverse effects on the mental health of many teenage users.

According to report:

“Thirty-two percent of teenage girls said that when they felt bad about their bodies, Instagram made them feel worse.”

In response to these concerns, Meta has now integrated a range of new security tools and features, including “Take a Break” reminders and updated “nudges” into the app., that aim to redirect users away from potentially dangerous topics.

Instagram safety tips

Combined, these prompts and restrictions could have a big impact on protecting teens, while showing that Meta is doing what it can to limit harm through its apps. Although he also has refuted the allegations that Instagram is indeed as harmful as suggested.

Updated teen safety features are rolling out starting today.

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