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How Instagram can take its child safety work even further


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acastro_190919_1777_instagram_0003.0.0.j Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

In May, I wrote here that the child safety problem on tech platforms is worse than we knew. A disturbing study from the nonprofit organization Thorn found that the majority of American children were using apps years before they are supposed to be — and fully a quarter of them said they have had sexually explicit interactions with adults. That puts the onus on platforms to do a better job in both identifying child users of their services and to protect them from the abuse they might find there.

Instagram has now made some promising moves in that direction. Yesterday, the company said that it would:

  • Make accounts private by default for children 16 and younger
  • Hide teens’ accounts from adults who have engaged in suspicious behavior, such...

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