Instagram will soon be introducing a new safety feature that will not allow underage users to be contacted by adults. Unless the two already follow one another, messages will not be able to go through if someone over the legal age contacts anyone under the age of 18.
No DMs between unknown adults and teenagers
Adults trying to DM teenagers will receive a notification telling them they cannot do so. Teen users will also be given certain tools necessary to keep an eye out for potential dodgy behaviour exhibited by adults they are in contact with on Instagram.
In a post on Instagram's blog, the following was explained:
This feature relies on our work to predict peoples' ages using machine learning technology, and the age people give us when they sign up. As we move to end-to-end encryption, we're investing in features that protect privacy and keep people safe without accessing the content of DMs.
And added that:
Safety notices in DMs will notify young people when an adult who has been exhibiting potentially suspicious behavior is interacting with them in DMs. For example, if an adult is sending a large amount of friend or message requests to people under 18, we'll use this tool to alert the recipients within their DMs and give them an option to end the conversation, or block, report, or restrict the adult.
Artificial Intelligence to detect suspicious behaviour
The new safety ban will come into effect this month in some countries and soon thereafter the rest of the world.
Some restrictions will include not allowing adults to see underage accounts in 'suggested users' as well as preventing them from being able to discover teen content in 'reels' or 'explore.'