In this digital age, social media platforms like Instagram play a major role in our lives. Ensuring online safety is essential, especially for teenagers facing online harassment. Instagram is taking proactive steps to enhance user safety by trialing a new feature to combat explicit and abusive content in direct message (Instagram DM) requests. In this article, we’ll explore this feature and introduce ten essential parental tools to create a safer online environment for teenagers.
Table of Contents
InstaSafe: Making Instagram DM Requests Safer
Instagram is testing a groundbreaking feature to address unsolicited Instagram DM requests with explicit images. To combat abusive content targeted at high-profile users, Instagram’s owner, Meta, has taken action. This new feature limits user to sending only one DM request to someone who doesn’t follow them, allowing only text until the request is accepted. This prevents the sending of images or videos until approval is given.
Countering Digital Hate
Prominent individuals like Rachel Riley, Jamie Klingler, and Sharan Dhaliwal experienced distressing online harassment. A study by the Centre for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) revealed that over 6% of the DM requests sent to them violated Instagram’s guidelines, mostly with explicit photos and videos. The new feature aims to combat this issue effectively.
Filtering Out Unsolicited Nudity
Concerns about unsolicited nude pictures sent via Instagram DM prompted Instagram to introduce a feature in 2021 to filter out offensive requests containing specific words or emojis. Building on this, the trial feature aims to provide a safer environment for all users, regardless of their follower count.
Once the trial is complete, Instagram plans to roll out the new feature to its massive user base of over 1 billion worldwide. By limiting unsolicited images and videos, Instagram aims to minimize abusive content, promoting positive interactions among users.
The Power of Parental Supervision
Instagram recognizes the need to empower parents to protect their teens online. Various parental supervision tools have been introduced to actively monitor their children’s activities and ensure their safety.
Account Supervision: Parents as Supervisors
Encouraging teens to add their parents as account supervisors allow parents to stay informed about their child’s online activities. This fosters open communication about potential risks, promoting a safer online experience while respecting privacy.
Quiet Mode: Reducing Distractions
Instagram’s quiet mode helps teens focus better by turning off notifications and sending predefined auto-replies to Instagram DM during designated quiet hours. It allows teens to balance their online and offline activities effectively.
Monitoring Reels Usage
Considering the popularity of Reels, Instagram may encourage teens to limit app usage while engaging with the short video feature, promoting healthy sleep patterns and balanced screen time.
Time Management: Prompts and Daily Limits
Instagram plans to issue prompts to teens who spend more than 20 minutes on Facebook, encouraging breaks and setting daily limits. This feature raises awareness about excessive app usage, fostering a healthier digital lifestyle.
Messenger Safety Changes
Meta has introduced safety changes for its Messenger service, allowing parents to monitor their child’s usage and contact list. However, respecting user privacy, parents cannot read their child’s messages, maintaining a reasonable level of protection.
Instagram’s trial feature and parental supervision tools mark significant progress in enhancing user safety. By empowering parents and providing valuable tools, Instagram aims to create a safer and more inclusive digital environment for all users, especially teenagers. Together, let’s embrace these advancements and work towards a positive and secure social media landscape.
What is Instagram’s new DM request feature?
The new Instagram DM request feature is a trial feature that aims to combat explicit and abusive content in direct message requests. It restricts users from sending more than one DM request to individuals who do not follow them, allowing only text until the recipient accepts the request.
Why did Instagram introduce this feature?
Instagram introduced this feature in response to alarming instances of online harassment, especially targeted at high-profile individuals. It aims to tackle the issue of unsolicited Instagram DM requests containing explicit images and improve user safety on the platform.
How does the new DM request feature make Instagram safer?
The new DM request feature makes Instagram safer by limiting the sending of unsolicited images and videos until the recipient approves the request. It helps prevent the sharing of explicit and abusive content, creating a safer online space for users.
What are some parental supervision tools available on Instagram?
Instagram offers several parental supervision tools to help parents monitor their children’s activities and ensure their safety online. These tools include account supervision, quiet mode, monitoring reels usage, time management prompts and limits, and messenger safety changes.
What is account supervision on Instagram?
Account supervision allows teenagers to add their parents as supervisors for their Instagram accounts. This feature enables parents to gain insight into their child’s online activities, fostering open communication about potential risks while respecting privacy.
How does quiet mode work on Instagram?
Instagram’s quiet mode feature reduces distractions and screen time for teenagers. It allows users to turn off notifications and automatically sends predefined auto-replies to Instagram DM. This feature is particularly useful during designated quiet hours, enabling teens to focus on studies, rest, or engage in offline activities while staying connected to their peers.
How does Instagram promote responsible app usage?
Instagram promotes responsible app usage by encouraging teens to manage their time effectively. They issue prompts to users who have spent more than 20 minutes on Facebook, urging them to take breaks and set daily limits. This feature raises awareness about excessive app usage and encourages a healthier digital lifestyle.
Can parents read their child’s messages on Instagram?
No, parents cannot read their child’s messages on Instagram. While Instagram’s messenger safety changes allow parents to monitor their child’s usage and view their contact list, user privacy is respected, and message content remains confidential.