Gee, Thanks Zuck: Instagram Promises to Blur Out Nude Pictures Sent to Minors

Mark Zuckerberg shows Congress his teeth
Chip Somodevilla /Getty

Instagram, the popular social media platform owned by Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta, is set to launch a new safety feature aimed at protecting minors from receiving unwanted nude images in their direct messages.

The Verge reports that Zuckerberg’s Meta announced on Thursday that it will soon roll out a feature designed to blur images detected to contain nudity and discourage users from sending such content to children. The feature, which will be enabled by default for teenage Instagram users based on their account’s birthday information, aims to create a safer environment for the platform’s youngest users. Adult users will also be encouraged to enable the protection through a notification.

Mark Zuckerberg discusses Instagram

Mark Zuckerberg discusses Instagram (AFP/Getty)

Sad desperate young girl suffering from bulling and harassment at school - stock photo

Sad desperate young girl suffering from bullying and harassment at school -(iStock/Getty Images)

The announcement comes amidst long-standing criticism that platforms like Facebook and Instagram have caused harm to their youngest users. Concerns have been raised about the negative impact on children’s mental health and body image, as well as the platforms’ alleged role in enabling abusive parents and creating a “marketplace for predators in search of children.”

According to the Wall Street Journal, the new feature will undergo testing in the coming weeks, with a global rollout expected over the next few months. Meta emphasizes that the feature uses on-device machine learning to analyze images sent via Instagram’s direct messaging service and that the company will not have access to these images unless they are reported by users.

When the protection is enabled, Instagram users who receive nude photographs will be presented with a message encouraging them not to feel pressured to respond, along with options to block and report the sender. Meta stated, “This feature is designed not only to protect people from seeing unwanted nudity in their DMs, but also to protect them from scammers who may send nude images to trick people into sending their own images in return.”

Users attempting to send a nude image will be met with a warning message about the dangers of sharing sensitive photos, while another warning will discourage users from forwarding received nude images.

Read more at the Verge here.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship.


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