Meta-owned Instagram is working on a feature to protect users from receiving nude and explicit content in their direct messages (DMs) from unknown people. An app developer Alessandro Paluzzi first tweeted screenshots of the feature. “Instagram is working on nudity protection for chats. Technology on your device covers photos that may contain nudity in chats. Instagram can’t access photos,” he posted.
Meta confirmed to The Verge that such a feature is in the development to protect Instagram users’ privacy. “We’re working closely with experts to ensure these new features preserve people’s privacy, while giving them control over the messages they receive,” a company spokesperson was quoted as saying.
Meta said that the technology will not allow it to view the actual messages, nor share them with third parties. The move comes at a time when a UK-based non-profit Center for Countering Digital Hate found that Instagram’s tools failed to act upon 90 percent of image-based abusive direct messages “sent to high-profile women”.
Last year, in a bid to give young users a safer, private experience on its platform, Instagram made it hard for potentially suspicious accounts to find young people by making the accounts of users under 16 private by default. It also limited advertisers’ options to reach young people. The company has developed new technology that finds accounts that have shown potentially suspicious behaviour and stops those accounts from interacting with young people’s accounts.
Instagram recently rolled out of its Parental Supervision Tools in India to help parents get more involved in their teen’s experiences on Instagram. The platform is also introducing a Family Center, a new place for parents and guardians to access supervision tools and resources from leading experts.
Meta has been working with experts, parents, guardians and young people from India, to understand the needs of parents and young people. One of the biggest needs continues to be tools and resources to educate parents about digital services. This education would allow parents and guardians to help their teens manage their online experiences. With this context, Meta launched Parental Supervision Controls and a Family Center in the US in March this year and is now rolling it out to India.
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