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Facebook and Instagram safety upgrade: Meta introduces stricter messaging settings

Meta introduces stricter messaging rules on Instagram and Facebook to enhance online safety for teenagers, limiting adult messages to teens who don't follow them and implementing default settings for teens under 16 to only receive messages from approved contacts.

Written By: Vishal Upadhyay New Delhi Published on: January 26, 2024 12:45 IST
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Image Source : FILE Representational Image

To enhance online safety for teenagers on Instagram and Facebook, Meta has introduced stricter private messaging settings. Adults aged 19 and above are now restricted from messaging teens who don't follow them. Moreover, the type and number of direct messages to someone not following them are limited to one text-only message.

Default Settings for Teens

Teens, under the age of 16 (or 18 in certain countries), will have default settings where they can only receive messages or be added to group chats by individuals they already follow or are connected to. In supervised accounts, teens will need parental permission to alter this setting.

Messenger Changes

Similar changes apply to Messenger, where users under 16 (or 18 in certain countries) will only receive messages from Facebook friends or individuals connected through phone contacts.

Protection Against Inappropriate Content

Meta plans to introduce a feature preventing teens from encountering unwanted and inappropriate images in messages. This feature will also discourage teens from sending such images. Details about this feature, applicable even in encrypted chats, will be shared later this year.

Parental Control Empowerment

Meta empowers parents by allowing them to approve or deny requests made by their teens (under 16) to change default safety and privacy settings. This includes changes from private to public accounts, adjusting Sensitive Content Control, or modifying DM settings to hear from non-followers. Parents receive notifications for such requests, providing them with tools to protect their teens while respecting their privacy.

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