Instagram begins blurring nudity in messages to protect teens and fight sextortion – Business News (Trending Perfect)


LONDON (AP) — Instagram says it is rolling out new tools to protect young people and combat sextortion, including a feature that automatically blurs nudity in direct messages.

The social media platform said in A Blog post Thursday it is testing the features as part of its campaign to combat sex scams and other forms of “image abuse,” and to make it more difficult for criminals to connect with teens.

Sextortion, or sextortion, involves convincing someone to send explicit photos over the Internet and then threatening to make the photos public unless the victim pays money or engages in sexual favors. Notable cases include recent Two Nigerian brothers Who pleaded guilty to sexually extorting teenagers and young adults in Michigan, including one who committed suicide, and a Virginia sheriff's deputy who… For blackmail and sexual kidnapping 15 year old girl.

Instagram and other social media companies have faced increasing criticism for not doing enough to protect young people. Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta Platforms, which owns Instagram, I apologize to the parents of victims of such abuse during a Senate hearing earlier this year.

Meta, based in Menlo Park, California, also owns Facebook and WhatsApp, but the nudity blur feature will not be added to messages sent on those platforms.

Instagram said scammers often use direct messages to request “intimate photos.” To combat this, it will soon begin testing a nudity protection feature for direct messages that blurs out any images containing nudity and “encourages people to think twice before sending nude photos.”

“The feature is designed not only to protect people from seeing unwanted nudity in their direct messages, but also to protect them from scammers who might send nude photos to trick people into sending their own photos in return,” Instagram said.

The feature will be turned on by default globally for teens under 18 years old. Adult users will receive a notification encouraging them to activate it.

Images containing nudity will be blurred with a warning, giving users the option to view them. They will also get the option to block the sender and report the chat.

People who send direct messages containing nudity will get a message reminding them to be careful when sending “sensitive images.” They'll also be informed that they can unsend the photos if they change their mind, but there's a chance others may have already seen them.

Instagram said it is working on technology to help identify accounts that are potentially engaging in sextortion, “based on a range of signals that can indicate sextortion behavior.”

To prevent criminals from contacting young people, it is also taking measures including not showing the “message” button on teens’ profile to potential sextortion accounts, even if they are already following each other, and testing new ways to hide teens from these accounts.

In January, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) warned of A 'Significant increase' in sexual blackmail Issues targeting children – including financial sextortion, where someone threatens to publish offensive images unless the victim pays. The targeted victims are often boys between the ages of 14 and 17, but the FBI said any child could become a victim. In the six-month period from October 2022 to March 2023, the FBI saw a more than 20% increase in reporting of financially motivated sextortion cases involving minor victims compared to the same period the previous year.



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