One of the only forms of social media that my teen daughters use is Instagram. Random people messaging you through social media sucks, especially when you have adults specifically targeting minors.
Creepy adults. Ugh.
This past Tuesday Instagram introduced new policies for making the app safer for minors.
Specifically limiting interactions with adult strangers. I’ve definitely instilled in my daughters to BLOCK any stranger, whether they appear to be an adult or another teen.
Avoid the creeps at all costs!
Instagram can provide young people the opportunity to strengthen connections, practice social skills and find supportive communities. It’s important that teens and parents are equipped with information on how to manage their time on the platform so that it’s thoughtful, safe and intentional. The new Parents Guide we’ve worked on does a great job of distilling what parents should know about how to support their teens as they navigate social media.Dr. Dave Anderson, Clinical Psychologist, Child Mind Institute
With the new policy, adults are prevented from direct messaging minors. However, if your minor child is following the adult, then the adult can message them.
They will also get notifications if they are interacting with an account belonging to an adult with “suspicious behavior,”.
By “suspicious behavior” they mean accounts that have been sending “a large amount of friend or message requests to people under 18”.
There is also a new messaging system from the app. These messages will remind them to not respond to adults that may message them.
They are also trying to instill other ways to make it harder for these creeps!
This will include hiding their comments on their posts. As well as alerting them to suspicious behavior looking for minors in Reels and on the Explore tab.
You can read the announcement posted on their website for more information. In the end, it is up to us to make sure our kids are making good choices.