Instagram parental controls are set in March


Instagram will introduce its first parental controls in March as it faces pressure to do more to protect its young users from harmful content and prevent them from abusing the product.

Adam Mosseri, the app manager at Meta, the parent company of Instagram and Facebook, said in a blog post that parents could see how much time their teens have spent using Instagram and limit the time that they spend on the application. Teens will also be able to tell their parents if they’ve reported someone for an Instagram policy violation.

“This is the first version of these tools; we will continue to add more options over time, ”he said in the post.

Mr Mosseri is due to appear before a Senate committee on Wednesday, and he is expected to answer questions about whether social media is harming children and teens. The app has come under new pressure since Frances Haugen, a former Facebook product manager, leaked documents that showed the company was aware Instagram makes teenage girls feel worse about themselves.

Mr Mosseri said in the blog post that Instagram is developing a list of other child safety tweaks. Its users will no longer be able to tag or mention teens who don’t follow them. The app is also launching a feature for all of its users in January that will allow them to delete their posts, comments and likes en masse.

It was not clear that Mr Mosseri’s announcement would appease lawmakers. “Meta is trying to deflect attention from its mistakes by deploying parenting guides, using timers and content control features that consumers should have always had,” said Senator Marsha Blackburn, Republican of Tennessee. “But my colleagues and I see through what they do.”

Instagram is one of several large tech platforms that have explored changes in the way children can use their products, in part because of Britain’s new child safety guidelines. The app said it plans to ask some young users to go through a more stringent process to prove their age, but has yet to add those features.

Cecilia Kang contributed reports.


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