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Instagram and Facebook will now prevent strangers from messaging minors by default

Image of Meta’s logo with a red and blue background.
Teens using supervised accounts will need parental permission to revert the changes. | Illustration by Nick Barclay / The Verge

Meta is introducing changes to Instagram and Facebook Messenger that aim to better protect minors from unwanted contact online, placing greater restrictions on who can message teens while giving parents more control over their children’s security settings. Notably, the company announced that by default, teens under the age of 16 (or under 18 in some countries) will no longer be able to receive messages, or be added to group chats, by users they don’t follow or aren’t connected with on Instagram and Messenger.

These new updates build upon a series of safeguards that Meta has introduced over the last year as it battles accusations that its algorithms helped turn Facebook and Instagram into a “marketplace for predators in search of children….

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