Meta tightens Facebook and Instagram rules to protect minors from unwanted adult contact
In a detailed blog post, Meta explains the new rules and broadened guidelines. The overall aim is to enforce additional restrictions for minors, who currently can be contacted by adults of any age on both platforms, regardless of whether they are mutual followers.
To curb this, Meta's plan includes blocking the option for adults over 19 to message teenagers unless the teenager follows them. Furthermore, Meta will limit the number and nature of messages sent to unrelated users, including those sent between teenagers.
These regulations are primarily meant to reassure parents, who can now, in theory, be sure that only genuine friends are in contact with their children via Facebook and Instagram. New settings will be activated automatically for all users below the age of 18 or 16 (depending on the country), and they can be changed, but not for monitored accounts without parental awareness.
The changes also extend to Messenger, where interactions with unassociated individuals are similarly reduced, and to Meta's safety settings. Suppose a teenager using a supervised account wants to alter any options. In that case, the parent will receive a notification allowing them to approve or block the amendment instead of receiving notification of a settings change after the fact.
Meta has also revealed they are working on additional features to protect minor social media users. This includes protection from harmful messages, even in encrypted chats. Although full details are not yet available, they will be later this year.