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People under the age of 18 are going to be asked by Instagram to switch their profile to private mode to protect them. Newly created ones will automatically be set to that profile.

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Regularly pointed out by child protection associations, but also by the legislator, social networks react by small touches. Instagram has just announced that, from now on, new accounts created by people under 16 will be private by default. For those already in existence, a notification highlighting the benefits of a private account and explaining how to change their privacy settings will be displayed. In any case, these teenagers will be able to switch their profile to public access afterwards if they wish.

Wherever we can, we want to prevent kids from hearing from adults they don’t know or don’t want to hear from,” the company’s blog post said. We think private accounts are the best way to prevent that from happening. So, starting this week, everyone under the age of 16 (or under 18 in some countries) will be assigned a private account by default when they join Instagram.”

With this, Instagram intends to restrict the ability for an adult to contact and interact with a minor. Posts and stories on private accounts are only visible to people whose subscription request has been accepted by the user; before that, they cannot be liked or commented on. When the profile is private, it also becomes more difficult to find teenagers by browsing randomly, via the Explorer section or hashtags.

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Finally, the social network says that these rules will help “limit the options advertisers have to reach young people with ads,” without further details. These new security procedures come into effect in the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, Japan, and France, and should affect all users quickly. Recall that Facebook has been working for some time now on a version of Instagram for under 13 years. A project that has been criticized by the authorities across the Atlantic.