Meta: ‘New Protections’ for Teens on Instagram, Facebook

January 10, 2024

We want teens to have safe, age-appropriate experiences on our apps.

Tech company Meta (parent company of social media platforms Instagram and Facebook) announcing new restrictions for Instagram and Facebook users under the age of 18. The changes announced on Tuesday – intended to protect teens from harmful content – are being rolled out this week “and they’ll be fully in place on Instagram and Facebook in the coming months” (Meta).

Why It Matters: Meta’s new protections for all teens using Instagram and Facebook (based on their birth date entered upon sign-up) include automatically placing them “into the most restrictive content control setting” on both platforms, restricting their access to “more types of content” – including content related to self-harm and eating disorders “even if it’s shared by someone they follow” (Meta). The changes follow Meta’s consultation with experts in psychology, mental health, and adolescent development, which the company says improves its “understanding of which types of content may be less appropriate for teens.”

Big Picture: The Wall Street Journal reports: “This marks the biggest change the tech giant has made to ensure younger users have a more age-appropriate experience on its social-media sites. The new content restrictions come as more than 40 states are suing Meta, alleging the tech company misled the public about the dangers its platforms pose to young people.”

Read More: New Protections to Give Teens More Age-Appropriate Experiences on Our Apps (Meta)

Instagram and Facebook Will Stop Treating Teens Like Adults (The Wall Street Journal)

by Leah Grainery, based in Texas