Meta Platforms to Hide Harmful Content from Teens and Provide a Safer Online Space

After facing increasing pressure from regulatory bodies worldwide, Meta announced that it would hide harmful content for teens using Instagram and Facebook.  The decision comes after 33 U.S. states accused Meta Platforms of being addictive and detrimental to the mental health of teenagers.  This led to an inquiry by the European Commission regarding Meta’s online child protection measures.

Meta’s commitment to protecting teen users involves hiding and removing self-harm content from both Instagram and Facebook, along with other age-inappropriate material. On Instagram, teenagers will no longer see content related to self-harm in the Reels and Explore sections, even if shared by someone in their network.

Once implemented, the new policies on Instagram and Facebook will automatically set the most restrictive settings for teen users, preventing them from searching for content related to suicide, self-harm, and eating disorders. While the platforms will permit sharing such content, Meta assures that users posting such material will be redirected to expert resources, ensuring they receive the necessary support. This update is expected to be rolled out in the coming weeks.

Meta’s Initiative to Hide Harmful Content on Instagram and Facebook

For existing teen users of Instagram and Facebook, Meta plans to send notifications urging them to enhance their safety and privacy settings. Opting to ‘Turn on recommended settings’ will result in Meta enforcing specific restrictions and preventing them from reposting content, tagging, mentioning, or including that profile in Reels Remixes.

In January last year, Meta limited advertisers’ ability to use age and location data when targeting teens. Moreover, changes were made to the types of ads visible to teenagers on the platform.


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