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Meta-blurring nudity in Instagram DMs

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Meta will blur Instagram DMs (direct messages) that contain nudity. In addition, the company will also warn teenagers about the increasing danger of sextortion scams.

Meta introduces nudity warnings and blurs DMs to protect teens

Instagram is getting a much-needed feature to protect teens from scams, exploitation and abuse. Meta has announced that it will blur posts with nude images.

In addition, to protect minors on the platform from abuse and sexually exploitative scams, Meta will warn users about the dangers of exchanging sexually explicit images.

Meta is rolling out the two features worldwide. For users under 18 years old, the security option is enabled by default. It’s not clear whether Instagram will allow users under 18 to disable the feature and alerts. Meta sends out notifications to encourage adults to enable the prompts.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Meta has started automatically detecting nudes in DMs. These features are intended to protect teens and adults from the growing threat of sextortion, Meta claimed.

How will Meta recognize nude photos, blur them and alert users?

Meta claims it uses on-device machine learning to analyze whether an image sent via Instagram’s direct messaging service contains nudity. In other words, all processing and sensing takes place on the device.

Meta has reportedly assured that it will not have access to these images. However, users can always report these images to the company.

With the setting and alerts enabled, Meta will present Instagram users who receive nude photos with a message telling them not to feel pressured to respond. In an announcement about the position, Meta commented,

“This feature is designed not only to protect people from seeing unwanted nudity in their DMs, but also to protect them from scammers who can send nude photos to trick people into sending their (own) images in return.”

Instagram will also proactively try to prevent users from trying to send a DM with a nude image. The notification warns them about the dangers of sharing sensitive photos. Additionally, users who attempt to forward a received nude image will also receive a warning.