Instagram Unveils New Enhanced “Limits” Tool for Teenagers


Instagram has announced an expansion of its “Limits” tool specifically for teenagers to combat harassment on its platform. This tool allows teens to restrict unwanted interactions with people. Thus, it will enable them to only see comments, messages, story replies, tags, and mentions from their “Close Friends” group. However, it will mute interactions from other accounts.

Background and Purpose of the Instagram Feature


The company initially introduced the Limits feature as a test in 2021. This happened following the harassment of English footballers Bukayo Saka, Marcus Rashford, and Jadon Sancho after the English team’s loss to Italy in the Euro 2020 finals.

The feature was available to everyone. However, it only allowed restricting interactions with people who followed, in addition to long-standing followers. Using the “Close Friends” setting as the default, the feature aims to prevent bullying and harassment for teens.

Additional Functionality and Restrictions of Instagram


In addition to the enhanced “Limits” tool, Instagram is adding new functionality to its “Restrict” feature. Additionally, it allows users to limit interactions from specific accounts without blocking them. With this update, Instagram will hide all comments from restricted accounts. Further, these accounts won’t be able to tag or mention the user. Moreover, teens can limit interactions with recent followers, such as accounts that started following them in the past week or accounts that they don’t follow.

Meta’s Efforts and Scrutiny


This move by Meta, the parent company of Instagram, is part of its broader efforts to address teen safety. In addition, it is in response to scrutiny over the impact of its products on kids’ mental health. Meta has faced legal action, with over 40 U.S. states suing the company over allegations that its product design negatively impacts kids’ mental health. Additionally, the European Union has opened an investigation against Facebook and Instagram over their addictive design and negative impact on minors’ mental health.

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