Instagram to blur nudity in order to ‘prevent sextortion’ among teenage users

Meta announced changes in its Instagram policy concerning nudity to protect teenage users from receiving and sending nude images.

This comes as part of the platform’s effort “to help protect young people from sextortion and intimate image abuse, and to make it more difficult for potential scammers and criminals to find and interact with teens.” It titled its blog explaining the new policy “New Tools to Help Protect Against Sextortion and Intimate Image Abuse.”

“Nudity protection will be turned on by default for teens under 18 globally, and we’ll show a notification to adults encouraging them to turn it on,” Instagram’s statement read. “When nudity protection is turned on, people sending images containing nudity will see a message reminding them to be cautious when sending sensitive photos, and that they can unsend these photos if they’ve changed their mind. Anyone who tries to forward a nude image they’ve received will see a message encouraging them to reconsider.”

Should Instagram determine an account to be guilty of “sextortion,” the term used to describe blackmailing someone by threatening to share their nude images, it will be removed from the platform. The user behind the account is also prevented from starting a new account.

Regarding accounts suspected of this behavior, they are precluded from messaging any account of a user under 18, even if they are connected followers on the platform. Teenage accounts are currently hidden from these accounts. It is already against policy for any adult account to message a teenage account they are not connected to. Every account user under 16 is also not allowed to receive any direct messages unless it’s from someone they follow.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER

Minors’ nude images are considered child pornography and liable for state and federal criminal charges. Instagram users can face charges for creating and distributing these images.

Facebook and Instagram similarly restricted children’s accounts from being recommended even if their profiles were public back in January. This was an attempt to calm concerns about children’s safety on both platforms amid a congressional hearing with Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg. During the hearing, Zuckerberg apologized to the families of teenage social media users who had killed themselves over online bullying.

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