Facebook will enable more private settings by default for anyone under the age of 16 who signs up for the platform, the company announced Monday. As for teens who already have an account, Facebook will display a prompt encouraging them to use these settings, as well as a toggle that turns them on with one tap.
What Facebook’s billing as “more private” settings restricts an account’s details so that only a teen’s friends can see the posts they’re tagged in, their friends list, and the pages, people, and lists they follow. They also require users to view the posts they are tagged in and only friends can comment on their public posts.
Facebook is also trying to do more to protect teens from predatory adults. It is testing a way to prevent teens from messaging adults on the platform that have recently been blocked or reported by a young person. Facebook also won’t feature these “suspicious” adults in teens’ People You May Know recommendations and will begin asking teens to report the accounts they block as well. Meanwhile, the company is testing Instagram by completely removing the message button on teen accounts when viewed by a suspicious adult.
Instagram already rolled out similar overarching privacy features for teens in August. Like Facebook, Instagram started enabling the most restrictive sensitive content management setting by default for new users under the age of 16, while encouraging teens on the platform to enable this setting. The “Less” sensitive content setting means users don’t see as much sexually explicit content on the platform, as well as photos and videos featuring drugs, violence, and tobacco products. Instagram also started preventing adults from messaging teens who don’t follow them last year and began warning teens if the adult they’re messaging has engaged in suspicious activity on the platform in the past.