Instagram tightens default content settings for teens

Instagram announced that the platform is rolling out a feature that is the most restrictive setting for new users under the age of 16 to “lower”, sensitive content controls. Teens already on Instagram will receive push notifications to “encourage” them to opt-in to heavy filtering shown by algorithms in Search, Explore, Hashtag pages, Reels, Feed recommendations and suggested accounts.

The “Standard” setting in Instagram lets users view only content deemed sensitive, while the “Less” option tightens the restrictions, and the “More” option allows users to view more sensitive content or accounts than the default settings. allows for. While users over the age of 18 typically have access to “Standard,” “Less,” and “More,” teens currently only have access to “Standard” and “Low.”

In June, Instagram first introduced its “less” option. A week later, it began suggesting in the US and other countries that teen users look to other content if they spend too much time on a particular topic and exclude topics from appearance comparisons.

Instagram is also testing signs for teens that suggest who can interact with their content. The test will ask them to review privacy and security settings on who can re-share their content, who can message them, what types of content they can view, and time management.

Teen users will be encouraged to review who can interact with their content
Image: Instagram

The “Sensitive Content Control” feature was launched on Instagram in July 2021. The filter was supposed to prevent users from viewing potentially harmful and “inappropriate” content on the Explore page. As Meta/Instagram ramps up suggested content in response to the rise of TikTok, the tuning applied to the algorithm has become more impressive.

The feature received backlash from many in the art world, sex workers, tattoo artists and the cannabis industry because they could be excluded from the suggestions feed if their accounts or content were flagged. In the Help Center, Instagram describes what it sees as sensitive content, including posts that are violent or sexually explicit or suggestive, promoting regulated products and substances, and more.

Instagram has recently introduced other features on Instagram that provide a secure experience. In March, parental controls came to the platform, which allows parents and guardians to see what their child does on Instagram, including how much time they spend on the app.

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