Facebook Will Restrict Advertisers to Approach Under-18 Users

Recently, a series of statements released by Facebook regarding teenage users, indicated that advertisers will no longer be allowed to target persons under-18 based on their interests or their behavior.

Advertisers will no longer be allowed to market by age, gender or location to under-18 on Facebook whether its Messenger service, or its Instagram photo-sharing platform. This change was made because Instagram agreed with youth activists that young people are not well enough to targeting for marketing purpose, according to a blog post by the social media giants.

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Facebook Will Restrict Advertisers to Approach Under-18 Users

To prevent adults from inappropriate contact, Instagram will also introduce defaulting acount for new users under the age of 18 to a private account when they join the platform. The option to switch to a public account will remain available to them, and current users can choose to keep their account public.

Instagram for children under the age of 13 was criticized by US lawmakers and attorneys general after it was revealed that Facebook was planning to introduce it. Mark Zuckerberg was asked to drop the idea by more than 40 state attorneys general in a letter earlier this year.

As of Tuesday, the firm stated it was working on an “social apps experience for tweens.” Parent controls and more transparency are the goals of a youth-focused app, according to Facebook. Several big social media firms have also launched versions of their applications for younger audiences like YouTube Kids.

Family-friendly versions are said to be safer because children are already on the platform, but critics say Facebook shouldn’t be trying to hook young kids on its apps because of the concerns that cause to their development, mental health, and privacy.

Many social media platforms do not identify and remove underage users, despite their restriction of kids under the age of 13. The head of Facebook’s youth products, Pavni Diwanji, said in a separate blog post that the company is applying artificial intelligence to enhance verification and deactivation of underage accounts.

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