Instagram rolling out new teen safety tools ahead of Congress hearing

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The popular photo-sharing app is under scrutiny yet again, and its head Adam Mosseri will stand before Congress on December 8 to testify about the potential risks that this platform poses to kids and teenagers, and on December 7, the app is rolling out a new set of safety features for its young users and their parents. Instagram’s new set of safety features consists of tools that will help the users manage how much time they spend on the app while also limiting unwanted interactions with adults on the said platform and exposure to sensitive content. Instagram is also playing with the idea to provide parental oversight over children’s accounts.

Almost all the platforms owned by Meta (formerly known as Facebook) have come under the intense scrutiny of official governing bodies after a whistleblower disclosed information regarding how the use of such apps is one of the main causes of degraded mental health among young people. The Senate Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Data Security will question Mosseri about the steps the app is taking to remedy itself.

The newly introduced teen safety measures will let the parents and guardians of teenagers see how much time their children spend on the app. Users who are under the age of 18 will be able to notify their parents whenever they report problems on the app itself. One of the drastic new changes is that users of the app would not be able to tag or mention users under the age of 16.

Moreover, the company is also creating a new “educational hub” for parents which will provide them with guidance as to how to use Instagram. However, this feature is likely to be introduced in March next year. Instagram is also rolling out a “Take A Break” feature in the US, the UK, Canada, and Australia. This feature was first announced in October 2021.

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