Facebook, Instagram to block sexually explicit content from teenagers (below 18)

Facebook and their photo-sharing partner Instagram have decided to block the underage users, i.e., those below 18 years of age from viewing the sexually explicit content in these social media platforms.

The users will not be able to see the pictures, posts or videos portraying artistic portrayal of nudity, sex acts or other related sexual contents. Facebook plans to execute this from 2020 and it will depend completely on teenagers using or registering their correct age in their accounts.

If an underage user tries to upload or view a sexual content on the platform, they will be redirected to a page showing error. But again, this will depend on the age the user has entered on the platform while registering and there is no software to recognize whether the user is lying about his age or not.

The above-mentioned contents will, however, be visible to adults. Facebook has consulted many child welfare activists and social workers before making this decision.

According to Andy Burrows, NSPCC head, “It is good to see Facebook taking steps in recognition of the fact that there is content on their platform that are unsuitable for children… But these measures look like little more than tinkering around the edges, rather than tackling the more profound clear cut dangers from grooming and abuse everyday on their platforms. He also added that “Facebook already has the technology to micro target adds at under 18s so we simply can’t understand why they won’t use the same technology to put safeguards in place.”

All these measures to avoid the youngsters from viewing sexually explicit content work only when they add their real age in their Facebook accounts and otherwise it may prove to be fruitless.