Instagram: it is forbidden to send DMs to minors who do not return the follow

Instagram is among the most famous and used applications in the world. Founded by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, since 6 October 2010 it has been love for millions of users who now prefer it to other social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. The number of users does not stop: it is estimated that there are about 3 billion users of this platform , or 40% of the world population. Among these there are many underage users: Instagram allows you to create an account from the age of 13. The dangers on the web, however, are many, especially for the under 18s.

For this reason Instragram has decided over the years to make the platform an increasingly safe place. In May 2018, it announced the use of an algorithm known as DeepText which, thanks to natural language processing techniques and artificial intelligence, filters by keywords and automatically allows you to examine and sift through offensive comments, harassment and "spam" . DeepText tries to counter a phenomenon sadly widespread on the web: cyberbullying.

Instagram security: DMs prohibited for minors

It is news in the last few days that Instagram will take advantage of a new artificial intelligence system to manage the lure of young users. The new function, in fact, will concern the limitation of the exchange of direct messages between young people and adults : it will not be possible for adults to send direct messages to minors who do not follow them.

Instagram will block the sending of DMs to minors who do not follow the sender's account.
Instagram will block the sending of DMs to minors who do not follow the sender's account.

When an adult tries to send a message to a young user who does not follow him, the first user, as well as the sender, will receive a notification warning him that he is not allowed to do so. Not only that: minors who have previously exchanged DMs on Instagram with adults will be warned of potential risks. Eventually they will be able to decide whether to open direct messages anyway.

Will the DMs to minors always be blocked?

The system will start only in the case of adults who have previously had suspicious attitudes. These include sending many messages or friend requests to underage users. Recipients will be able to block reporting and restrict the conversation with the adult user in question. The potential hooker, having received several reports, will no longer be able to view the profiles of the youngest among the suggested users, to prevent them from discovering their contents on Reels or in the Explore section. In addition , their comments on the posts of users under 18 will be automatically hidden .

Machine learning for Instagram safety

Many users, albeit minors "on paper", pretend a different age to have no limitations: Instagram will use machine learning to determine the true age of a user , so as to put the new security system into operation. This branch of computer science is considered a close relative of artificial intelligence: various mechanisms allow an intelligent machine to improve its capabilities and performance over time. The machine, therefore, will be able to learn to perform certain tasks by improving, through experience, its skills, its responses and functions. Underlying machine learning are a number of algorithms.

Instagram will use machine learning to verify the age of users.
Instagram will use machine learning to verify the age of users.

Such technology will be able to predict the true age of users when they sign up for Instagram. “As we move towards end-to-end encryption, we're investing in features that can protect privacy and keep people safe without accessing their direct message content, ” explains Instagram. All these new security policies will be available in Italy starting this month. Meanwhile, the social network advises all minors to make their accounts private .

The Instagram article : forbidden to send DMs to minors who do not reciprocate the follow comes from Tech CuE | Close-up Engineering .