Meta is Taking Teen Safety and Privacy More Important in 2024

Yusuf Balogun
Yusuf Balogun
Yusuf is a law graduate and freelance journalist with a keen interest in tech reporting.

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In an era where digital content shapes the worldview of teenagers, parents have always wanted to be confident their teens are viewing content online that’s appropriate for their age. According to a report by Digital Information World, 54% of children are exposed to inappropriate adult content starting from the age of 13.

To address this, Meta’s Instagram and Facebook have announced new protections that are focused on the types of content teens see on their apps. Previously, the apps have developed more than 30 tools and resources to support teens and their parents and have spent over a decade developing policies and technology to address content that breaks the rules or could be seen as sensitive.

Vicki Shotbolt, CEO of, emphasizes the parental quest for confidence in their teens’ online experiences, saying: “Parents want to be confident their teens are viewing content online that’s appropriate for their age. Paired with Meta’s parental supervision tools to help shape their teens’ experiences online, Meta’s new policies to hide content that might be less age-appropriate will give parents more peace of mind.”

Meta’s Holistic Approach to Teen Safety and Privacy in 2024

To alleviate parental concerns, Meta has unveiled new policies that specifically target content visibility, ensuring that potentially sensitive or age-inappropriate material is effectively hidden from teenage users. These new policies come with four different updates, two address every user and two are specifically made for teenagers. Removing violent content and limiting content recommendations is now applicable to every user, while more restricted content recommendations and hiding age-inappropriate content are introduced for teenagers.

Dr. Rachel Rodgers, Associate Professor, Department of Applied Psychology, Northeastern University, commends Meta’s evolution of policies, stating that these changes provide an opportunity for parents to engage in crucial conversations with their teens about navigating complex topics.

“Meta is evolving its policies around content that could be more sensitive for teens, which is an important step in making social media platforms spaces where teens can connect and be creative in age-appropriate ways. These policies reflect current understandings and expert guidance regarding teen’s safety and well-being. As these changes unfold, they provide good opportunities for parents to talk with their teens about how to navigate difficult topics,” said Dr. Rachel Rodgers.

Instagram’s New Content Policies for Teens

Meta’s commitment to teen safety extends beyond mere lip service. Instagram and Facebook have diligently collaborated with experts in adolescent development, psychology, and mental health to fine-tune their platforms. This collaborative effort aims to create a safe, age-appropriate online environment for young users. For instance, content revolving around sensitive topics like self-harm will now be strategically removed from the feeds and stories of teens, even if shared by someone they follow.

Updates to Content Recommendation Settings

In a pivotal move, Meta has automatically placed teens under the age of 18 into the most restrictive content control settings on Instagram and Facebook. This encompasses new users joining the platforms and extends to teens who are already active. The “Sensitive Content Control” on Instagram and “Reduce” on Facebook restrict the exposure of potentially sensitive content in areas like Search and Explore, offering an added layer of protection for young users.

Facebook Content Policy
Facebook’s Content Recommendation Settings for Teen | Image credit: Instagram

Combatting Sensitive Topics in Search Results

Addressing concerns related to suicide, self-harm, and eating disorders, Meta has taken a proactive step to hide search results associated with these terms. While users are allowed to share their struggles, Meta’s policy ensures that such content isn’t recommended. This initiative not only makes it harder to stumble upon sensitive content but also directs users to expert resources for help.

Promoting Privacy Settings Awareness

Recognizing the significance of teens actively managing their safety and privacy settings, Instagram is implementing a notification system to prompt teens to update their settings regularly. A single tap enables them to adopt a more private online experience, limiting who can repost their content, tag or mention them, or include their content in Reels Remixes. This, coupled with restrictions on messaging and comment visibility, underscores Meta’s commitment to creating a safer digital space for teens.

Promoting Privacy Setting
Promoting Privacy Setting | Image credit: Instagram


A major turning point in the development of responsible digital citizenship is Meta’s commitment to teen safety and privacy. As a pioneer in creating a safe online environment for the future generation, Meta does this by aggressively addressing problematic information, improving content suggestion settings, and raising awareness of privacy issues.

These modifications represent a step in the right direction for creating a safer and more encouraging online community for teenagers when they become available over the next several weeks. Thus, stay connected with TechGenyz for more informative updates.

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