Meta is in the process of revising its policy in order to better safeguard children and teenagers from “dubious” adults online. In the wake of Instagram’s decision from the previous year to make the accounts of all new users under the age of 16 private, Meta has decided to implement a comparable policy on Facebook. “Starting today, everyone who is under the age of 16 (or under 18 in certain countries) will be defaulted into more private settings when they join Facebook,” Meta states. “This change affects both new and existing accounts” (Opens in a new window).
Teens who are already using Facebook will be encouraged to change their settings to be more restrictive about the following:
- Who is allowed to view their friend list.
- Who has access to view the persons, pages, and lists that they are following?
- Who is able to view the posts in which they have been tagged on their profile
- Reviewing posts in which they have been tagged prior to the appearance of the post on their profile
- Who is authorized to remark on their posts that are visible to the public?
A person is considered “suspect” by Meta if it has lately been blocked or reported by a young person and the individual in question is an adult. According to the firm, “We have established a number of mechanisms so kids can let us know if something makes them feel uncomfortable while using our applications,” and the company is also providing new notifications that encourage teens to use these tools.
Teenagers, for instance, might see a pop-up that prompts them to report an account after they have blocked it, or a safety notice that provides information on how to manage problematic messages from adults. Both of these options are intended to keep them safe. Keep an eye out for notifications that question you if you “know this person in real life,” and if you don’t, they should provide you with information on what to do if they make you feel unsafe.