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Instagram Announces New Plans to Keep Teenagers Safe On the Platform

Instagram head Adam Mosseri announced that parental controls will be introduced to keep young people “even safer on Instagram,” according to a statement from Meta-owned, social media giant Facebook on Tuesday.


The tools will be launched in March 2022.

The platform’s latest measures say that they aim at creating a stricter approach including preventing non-followers of teenagers from tagging or mentioning them in posts, nudging teens towards different topics if they’ve been dwelling on one topic for a long time, and allowing parents to keep a tab on the amount of time spent by their kids on the platform.

“We’ll also give teens a new option to notify their parents if they report someone, giving their parents the opportunity to talk about it with them. This is the first version of these tools; we’ll continue to add more options over time,” Mosseri said.

Instagram also announced a new educational hub for parents and guardians in addition to the launch of the Take a Break feature in select countries for now, including the US, UK, Ireland, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

The feature according to the statement will “empower people to make informed decisions about how they’re spending their time.” It entails showing notifications to teenage users, who spend a certain amount of time on Instagram, and ask them to “take a break from Instagram and suggest that they set reminders to take more breaks in the future.”

Early test results show that once teens set the reminders, more than 90% of them keep them on, Mosseri noted.


The new plans will also enable teenagers to delete content they’ve posted like photos and videos, as well as their previous likes and comments. According to Mosseri, this will help them to manage their digital footprint, and will be brought into effect from January 2022.

The recent measures come in the backdrop of the two Facebook whistleblowers, who shared company data on how it failed to curb hate-speech and misinformation for its monetary gains.

The first whistleblower and former Facebook employee, Frances Haugen, highlighted that evidence of hate extended to Instagram, though the harm caused by it is more personal than public. “13.5% of teen girls say Instagram makes thoughts of suicide worse. 17% of teen girls say that Instagram makes eating disorders worse,” read from one of the reports that Haugen shared with the Wall Street Journal.