Skip to main content

Instagram tightens default content settings for teens

Instagram tightens default content settings for teens

/

Current teenage users under 16 years old will be encouraged to change their content settings

Share this story

Three mobile phone screens showing content filter options on Instagram
New teenage users will be defaulted to a newsfeed that shows less sensitive content
Image: Instagram

Instagram announced the platform is rolling out a feature that defaults accounts for new users under 16 years old to “Less,” the most restrictive setting for Sensitive Content Control. Teenagers already on Instagram will get push notifications “encouraging” them to opt-in to the heavier filtering on what the algorithm shows them across Search, Explore, Hashtag Pages, Reels, Feed Recommendations, and Suggested Accounts.

The “Standard” setting in Instagram only lets users see some content deemed sensitive, while the “Less” option tightens the restrictions even further, and the “More” option allows users to see more sensitive content or accounts than the default settings. While users over 18 years old typically have access to “Standard,” “Less,” and “More,” teenagers currently only have access to “Standard” and “Less.”

In June, Instagram first introduced its “Less” option. A week later, it began rolling out a feature in the US and other countries to suggest that teenage users look at other content if they spend too much time on one particular topic and excludes topics tied to appearance comparison.

Instagram is also testing prompts for teens that suggest limiting who can interact with their content. The test will ask them to review privacy and security settings related to who can re-share their content, who can message them, the type of content they can see, and time management.

Three mobile phone screens demonstrating Instagram notifications and content settings
Teenage users will be encouraged to review who can interact with their content
Image: Instagram

The “Sensitive Content Control” feature launched on Instagram in July 2021. The filter was supposed to keep users from seeing potentially harmful and “inappropriate” material suggested to them on the Explore page. As Meta / Instagram ramps up suggested content in response to the rise of TikTok, the tuning applied to the algorithm has become more impactful.

The feature was met with backlash from many people in the art world, sex workers, tattoo artists, and the cannabis industry since they could be excluded from the feed of suggestions if their accounts or content were flagged. In the Help Center, Instagram describes what it sees as sensitive content, including posts with depictions of violence or sexually explicit or suggestive, promoting regulated products and substances, etc.

Instagram has recently introduced other features on Instagram that cater to providing a secure experience. In March, parental controls arrived on the platform that allows parents and guardians to monitor what their child does on Instagram, including how much time they spend on the app.

Today’s Storystream

Feed refreshed 28 minutes ago The tablet didn’t call that play by itself

M
The Verge
Mary Beth Griggs28 minutes ago
We’re about an hour away from a space crash.

At 7:14PM ET, a NASA spacecraft is going to smash into an asteroid! Coverage of the collision — called the Double Asteroid Redirection Test — is now live.


E
Twitter
Emma RothAn hour ago
There’s a surprise in the sky tonight.

Jupiter will be about 367 million miles away from Earth this evening. While that may seem like a long way, it’s the closest it’s been to our home planet since 1963.

During this time, Jupiter will be visible to the naked eye (but binoculars can help). You can check where and when you can get a glimpse of the gas giant from this website.


Asian America learns how to hit back

The desperate, confused, righteous campaign to stop Asian hate

Esther Wang12:00 PM UTC
E
Twitter
Emma Roth7:16 PM UTC
Missing classic Mario?

One fan, who goes by the name Metroid Mike 64 on Twitter, just built a full-on 2D Mario game inside Super Mario Maker 2 complete with 40 levels and eight worlds.

Looking at the gameplay shared on Twitter is enough to make me want to break out my SNES, or at least buy Super Mario Maker 2 so I can play this epic retro revamp.


R
External Link
Russell Brandom7:13 PM UTC
The US might still force TikTok into a data security deal with Oracle.

The New York Times says the White House is still working on TikTok’s Trump-era data security deal, which has been in a weird limbo for nearly two years now. The terms are basically the same: Oracle plays babysitter but the app doesn’t get banned. Maybe it will happen now, though?


R
Youtube
Richard Lawler6:54 PM UTC
Don’t miss this dive into Guillermo del Toro’s stop-motion Pinocchio flick.

Andrew Webster and Charles Pulliam-Moore covered Netflix’s Tudum reveals (yes, it’s going to keep using that brand name) over the weekend as the streamer showed off things that haven’t been canceled yet.

Beyond The Way of the Househusband season two news and timing information about two The Witcher projects, you should make time for this incredible behind-the-scenes video showing the process of making Pinocchio.


R
External Link
Russell Brandom4:29 PM UTC
Edward Snowden has been granted Russian citizenship.

The NSA whistleblower has been living in Russia for the 9 years — first as a refugee, then on a series of temporary residency permits. He applied for Russian citizenship in November 2020, but has said he won’t renounce his status as a U.S. citizen.


E
External Link
Emma Roth4:13 PM UTC
Netflix’s gaming bet gets even bigger.

Even though fewer than one percent of Netflix subscribers have tried its mobile games, Netflix just opened up another studio in Finland after acquiring the Helsinki-based Next Games earlier this year.

The former vice president of Zynga Games, Marko Lastikka, will serve as the studio director. His track record includes working on SimCity BuildIt for EA and FarmVille 3.


A
External Link
Andrew J. Hawkins3:37 PM UTC
Vietnam’s EV aspirant is giving big Potemkin village vibes

Idle equipment, absent workers, deserted villages, an empty swimming pool. VinFast is Vietnam’s answer to Tesla, with the goal of making 1 million EVs in the next 5-6 years to sell to customers US, Canada and Europe. With these lofty goals, the company invited a bunch of social media influencers, as well as some auto journalists, on a “a four-day, multicity extravaganza” that seemed more weird than convincing, according to Bloomberg.


J
James Vincent3:17 PM UTC
Today, 39 years ago, the world didn’t end.

And it’s thanks to one man: Stanislav Petrov, a USSR military officer who, on September 26th, 1983, took the decision not to launch a retaliatory nuclear attack against the US. Petrov correctly guessed that satellite readings showing inbound nukes were faulty, and so likely saved the world from nuclear war. As journalist Tom Chivers put it on Twitter, “Happy Stanislav Petrov Day to those who celebrate!” Read more about Petrov’s life here.


Soviet Colonel who prevented 1983 nuclear response
Photo by Scott Peterson/Getty Images
J
The Verge
James Vincent3:03 PM UTC
Deepfakes were made for Disney.

You might have seen the news this weekend that the voice of James Earl Jones is being cloned using AI so his performance as Darth Vader in Star Wars can live on forever.

Reading the story, it struck me how perfect deepfakes are for Disney — a company that profits from original characters, fans' nostalgia, and an uncanny ability to twist copyright law to its liking. And now, with deepfakes, Disney’s most iconic performances will live on forever, ensuring the magic never dies.


E
External Link
Elizabeth Lopatto2:41 PM UTC
Hurricane Fiona ratcheted up tensions about crypto bros in Puerto Rico.

“An official emergency has been declared, which means in the tax program, your physical presence time is suspended,” a crypto investor posted on TikTok. “So I am headed out of the island.” Perhaps predictably, locals are furious.


R
The Verge
Richard Lawler2:09 PM UTC
Teen hacking suspect linked to GTA 6 leak and Uber security breach charged in London.

City of London police tweeted Saturday that the teenager arrested on suspicion of hacking has been charged with “two counts of breach of bail conditions and two counts of computer misuse.”

They haven’t confirmed any connection with the GTA 6 leak or Uber hack, but the details line up with those incidents, as well as a suspect arrested this spring for the Lapsus$ breaches.