Social networks. Parents will be able to better monitor their children on Instagram

Frequently accused of having harmful effects on its youngest users, the social network Instagram announced on Tuesday the addition of new features to its parental control tool. They allow parents or legal representatives to more directly oversee the activities of their minor children.

So far, the subsidiary of Meta (which also owns Facebook and WhatsApp), had deployed parental controls only in the United States, where it could only be activated by children. In France, Instagram offers a “guide for parents”.

Parental control in France in June

But by the end of June, parents and guardians will now have the option to send invitations to young teens offering to monitor their account. The latter will have to accept the request to activate the tool. A novelty which will be available in the United States, but also in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Japan, Canada and Australia before being deployed in the rest of the world by the end of the month. ‘year.

What will this parental control allow? First, to limit the screen time of children and adolescents by setting daily limits for the use of the application (from 15 minutes to 2 hours) or by programming breaks. Young people will also be able to report to their parents or legal representatives if they encounter content that does not comply with Instagram’s rules (incitement to hatred or violence, nudity, etc.).

Above all, parents will finally have their children’s Instagram contact list, whether it’s their followers or the people they follow. A family information center with expert advice and supervision resources will also be accessible from Instagram.

The platforms move

The social network has been under fire from critics from American elected officials and child protection associations for several months because of the harmful influence it would have on young people. In the fall of 2021, Frances Haugen, a former Facebook employee, leaked internal documents showing that the leaders of the platform were aware of certain risks for minors, in particular for the mental health of certain young girls confronted with the myth. of the ideal female body.

Instagram has since tried to give pledges on the protection of adolescents, as have other platforms popular with young audiences. TikTok announced last week new features aimed at limiting the screen time of its underage users. Parental control tools will also be rolled out for Oculus Quest virtual reality headsets developed by Meta.

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