Meta To Add Feature To Blur Nudity As An Effort To Protect Children

Meta is taking a step to protect underage users from nudity and exploitation on its Instagram platform by testing out a new feature that would prevent scammers from contacting them.

“Because the images are analyzed on the device itself, nudity protection will also work in end-to-end encrypted chats, where Meta won’t have access to these images – unless someone chooses to report them to us,” said Meta.

Meta reported that the new feature will protect users from seeing unwanted nudity in their DMs, as well as protect them from scammers who send nude images to trick them into sending images of their own. If a user is sent a potential image containing nudity, the image will immediately be blurred out with a warning message asking the user if they would like to proceed.

“We’ll also show them a message encouraging them not to feel pressure to respond, with an option to block the sender and report the chat,” said Meta.

“When nudity protection is turned on, people sending images containing nudity will see a message reminding them to be cautious when sending sensitive photos, and that they can unsend these photos if they’ve changed their mind,” the company added.

Instagram users who send or receive images containing nudity will be directed to a page with safety tips. Meta is also working on sending pop-up messages to anyone who might have interacted with any account that was removed due to exploitation or solicitation.

“We’re also testing hiding teens from these accounts in people’s follower, following and like lists, and making it harder for them to find teen accounts in search results,” representatives said on on Thursday in a blog post.

The new setting comes after Meta was sued by 33 states for misleading the public about the dangers of its social media platforms back in October.

There have been several cases that have put underage users in harm’s way. In one case, two Nigerian brothers pled guilty on Wednesday to exploiting several underage users, including a 17-year-old in Michigan who ended up ending his life.

A 15-year-old girl from California was also the victim of exploitation when a 28-year-old former Virginia sheriff posed as a teen to receive nude pictures of her. She was kidnapped at gunpoint after he drove cross country to her home, killing her mother and grandparents and setting fire to the house.