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Instagram to restrict some ads from reaching minors

The Facebook-owned company will also display a notification highlighting the benefits of a private account to users who already have an account.   | Photo Credit: Getty Images

Instagram Inc on Tuesday announced several new features to make the platform safer for users under 18 years of age, including limiting the ads displayed to minors.

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The image-sharing platform has faced criticism for neglecting safety of younger users, especially after the company discussed the possibility of introducing a separate Instagram app for children.

Starting this week, accounts of users under 16 years of age will be defaulted into a private one when they register on the platform. Private accounts allow users to choose who can view their posts, stories and reels.

“Historically, we asked young people to choose between a public account or a private account when they signed up for Instagram, but our recent research showed that they appreciate a more private experience. During testing, eight out of ten young people accepted the private default setting during sign-in,” Instagram noted in a statement.

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The Facebook-owned company will also display a notification highlighting the benefits of a private account to users who already have an account.

Additionally, previously available ad targeting options will no longer be available to advertisers on Instagram, Facebook and Messenger.

Instagram also said it has developed a technology to identify accounts that show potentially suspicious behaviour, especially those belonging to adults that may have been recently blocked or reported by a young user. The company will now use this feature to prevent content from these accounts to show up on a young user’s content feed. The feature will be rolled out first in the U.S., U.K., France, Australia and Japan, and will be introduced in other countries later, the company added.

Last week, the social network added the ‘sensitive content control’ feature which allows users to choose what type of content they wish to see in their explore feeds. The move intends to prevent users from viewing triggering content including hate speech and bullying. However, several users expressed concerns over the feature saying it affected the reach of their content.


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Printable version | Sep 17, 2021 7:17:22 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/technology/internet/instagram-to-restrict-some-ads-from-reaching-minors/article35578221.ece

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