Meta Imposes Strict Restrictions on Messaging for Teens



Meta Imposes Strict Restrictions on Messaging for Teens

Meta has announced new restrictions on direct messaging through Facebook and Instagram for teenagers to prevent anyone from messaging them without permission. Instagram now limits the ability of adults aged 18 and above to message teenagers who do not follow them.

These new limits apply to all users under the age of 16 by default, and Meta notifies existing users of the change through notifications. Messenger users receive messages from friends within Facebook or people in their contacts.

Meta is also working to enhance parental control tools by allowing guardians to approve or reject changes made by teenagers to default privacy settings. Previously, parents received notifications when teenagers changed these settings but couldn't take any action.

The company provided an example that guardians can prevent changes if a teen user attempts to make their account public instead of private, modify sensitivity control from "a little" to "standard," or alter message-sending control.

Meta first introduced parental supervision tools for Instagram in 2022, giving parents insight into their teenagers' usage. The company also plans to launch a feature that prevents teens from seeing unwanted and inappropriate images in their direct messages.

The company stated that this feature works in end-to-end encrypted conversations, preventing teens from sending such images. However, Meta has not specified how it ensures teens' privacy while implementing these features and has not provided details on what it considers inappropriate.

Earlier this month, the company introduced new tools to restrict teen access to content related to self-harm or eating disorders on Facebook and Instagram.