For several years, many associations have been fighting to guarantee the safety of minors on the internet and social networks. In France, Instagram is implementing radical new measures.
A few days ago, Instagram was once again singled out by 5 Rights Foundation. Following the investigation conducted by the Revealing Reality agency, the association denounced the dangers of the social network for adolescents and their health. Although Facebook subsequently denied these comments, this Tuesday, July 27, the American company announced that it was taking radical measures.
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Default private accounts for children under 16
According to the first tests conducted by Instagram, 8 young people are 10 have agreed to keep the default private settings when registering.
In order to best protect these users, from next week, when a teenager under the age of 16 creates an Instagram account, the latter will be automatically set as “private”. This means that posts shared on the “private” account will only be accessible to subscribers manually approved by the creator and therefore not visible in places such as “explore” or hashtags.
13-16 year olds who already own an Instagram account configured as public will receive a notification to present the advantages of a private account.
“Young people will always have the choice to switch to a public account or to keep their public current account if they wish”, however clarified Instagram before adding:
“We believe that private accounts are the best choice for young people, but we recognize that some young creators might want to have public accounts in order to build an audience.”
Avoid unwanted contact
Instagram has developed new technology aimed at restricting the visibility of underage accounts, especially among adults with activities deemed suspicious. The accounts of adolescents configured in “public”, will therefore not be highlighted in the “explore”, “real” or “suggestions” sections for these potential suspicious adults (previously reported or blocked by young users). This new measure is already deployed in France, the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan and Australia, and wishes to extend to other countries quickly.
Limitations of advertising targeting for minors
In a few weeks, a third measure will be added to the list: the end of advertising targeting for those under 18.
Advertisers will no longer be able to rely on targeting options such as interests or activity on other apps and websites.
Instagram specifies all the same that “Advertisers will still be able to target people under the age of 18 (or over depending on the country) based on their age, gender and location.”
When they reach the age of 18, users will then be free to re-enable or not re-enable ad targeting in the app settings.
Although Instagram, like Snapchat, Facebook, or Tiktok, requires a minimum age of 13. Nothing guarantees compliance with this rule.