Facebook-owned Instagram brought new changes into its photo-sharing app to make its platform safer for underage users citing the increased online abuse towards the platform’s young users.
The new change in Instagram is making the profiles of users under sixteen private by default which makes their account only accessible by other users who follow them.
In March, it started showing its young users signing up to Instagram a message praising the virtues of having a private account, but now it’s making underage accounts private by default.
The parent company Facebook is also introducing changes to restrict the delivery of ads to its users under 18 thus changing from its previous approach of targeting users based on interests and demographics.
The new system introduced by Facebook, now allow separately target its users under 18 based on location, gender, and age which will help the advertiser to target the right audience as well as also restrict 18+ advertisements to any profile under 18.
The new advertisement model is similar to Youtube’s “Safe for kids”, a content filter for kids to restrict certain content to them.
The company says it’s able to identify “potentially suspicious behavior” from accounts. The new approach by Instagram is virtually separating under 16 accounts from these suspicious accounts reported by younger users of this platform.
This change will also disable the interaction between these suspicious accounts and the under-16 accounts, that is, these private underage users will have the control to filter their interactive audience base.
“We want to strike the right balance of giving young people all the things they love about Instagram while also keeping them safe. That’s why we are announcing changes we are making today. We will continue listening to them, their parents, lawmakers, and experts to build an Instagram that works for young people and is trusted by parents,” said Karina Newton, public policy director at Instagram.
This approach adopted by many social media platforms basically changing the interest-based advertising model to demographic-based to counteract the backlashes faced by them citing online abuses.
Meanwhile, the Indian government’s draft Personal Data Protection directs social media platforms to regulate minors online activity as well as set 18 as the age of consent which still puts Instagram operation in India at stake as it doesn’t seek parental consent from its minor users.