Meta adds parental supervision tools on Instagram after backlash

  • The tools allow parents to track how much time their children spend on Instagram, set limits on their use, as well as see the accounts they follow
  • Parental supervision on both Instagram and Quest will require consent from teens
Reuters |

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The new tools are part of a commitment to protect teenagers that the head of the photo-sharing app made in December. Photo: Reuters

Facebook owner Meta Platforms Inc will allow parents to track how much time their children are spending on Instagram and will soon roll out parental supervision features on Quest virtual reality headsets, the company said on Wednesday.

The new parental controls are part of Meta’s promise to protect children using its social media apps, after a whistle-blower leaked internal documents that showed the company was aware that Instagram caused body image problems for some teenage girls.

The uproar resulting from the leaked documents led to Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, testifying before Congress in December, where he was grilled about children’s safety online.

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The Instagram supervision tools will be available in the United States beginning Wednesday and will roll out globally over the coming months, Meta said.

Parents will be able to view what accounts their children follow and can set time limits for how long their kids spend on the app.

In May, Meta will launch a dashboard that includes supervision tools for its Quest headsets and will automatically block teens from downloading age-inappropriate apps on Quest.

Parental supervision on both Instagram and Quest will require consent from teens, Meta said in a blog post.

The company added it plans to eventually allow parents to oversee their kids’ activities across all of Meta’s services from one central place.

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