More and more social media platforms are taking steps to improve protections for younger folk. Instagram is the latest company to take steps in that direction with the recent announcement that the platform will soon require users to provide their date of birth if they have not already done so.
The DOB prompts are already present and if you’re an Instagram user you may have already seen them. As of now those prompts are opt-in. If you don’t want to provide your date of birth you can simply close the window. The day is coming however when you won’t have a choice. If you want to keep using Instagram you’ll have to report your DOB.
The change is part of a broader effort which seeks to make it harder for adults to contact teens or pre-teens on Instagram. The company is also monitoring user contacts and flagging certain adults as “potentially suspicious” if they have a habit of reaching out minors on the platform.
These are good changes and long overdue. Even most privacy advocates who are usually wary about providing more information to service providers of any type generally applaud the recent announcement.
In any case it’s very good to see more and more social media platforms taking solid steps to see to the protection of minors. The internet is (or can be) a wild and dangerous place. Anything we can do to make it even marginally safer for our children has to be counted as a good thing.
Kudos to Instagram for joining the ever-growing chorus of social media companies to embrace changes like this. A list that currently includes social media and technology giants like TikTok, YouTube and Google. While it will take some time yet to measure their full impact and overall effectiveness, these are undoubtedly moves in the right direction that will make our kids safer.