afaqs! news bureau
Social Media

Instagram launches 'Parents Guide' for young users' safety

The Guide captures all the new safety features for the parents on the platform.

On Safer Internet Day (February 9) and aligned with the global theme of 2021, ‘Together for a better Internet’, Instagram has launched a 'Parents Guide' for India. The Guide is aimed at the safety of youngsters by informing their parents about all the safety features that exist on the platform (Instagram).

The Parents Guide is a resource from Instagram, available across many countries, to provide parents with a better understanding of the changing digital landscape.

It is meant to act as a conversation starter between the parents and their children. It provides the information about the tools that exist to keep the children safe on Instagram.

The 2021 version of the Guide has inputs from key organisations working actively on the rights and safety of children. These include the Center for Social Research, Cyber Peace Foundation, Aarambh India Initiative, Young Leaders for Active Citizenship, It’s Ok To Talk and Suicide Prevention India Foundation.

The Guide takes into account all the new updates on Instagram, such as ‘DM reachability controls’. It gives the creator and business accounts the control to choose who can message them on Instagram and who can add them to groups on Instagram Direct.

Another example is ‘Bulk comment management’, which gives people the option to delete comments in bulk, as well as block or restrict multiple accounts that post negative comments. There are others, too, like ‘Support Requests’ and ‘Emails from Instagram’.

Tara Bedi, public policy and community outreach manager for Instagram in India, said, “As the Internet permeates into our lives, especially the lives of young people, parents need to be adequately equipped with the evolving digital landscape. They want to understand how a platform works and feel comfortable with their children leveraging its opportunities for creative expression, while knowing the safety tools available to them that enable that expression in a supportive environment. This is what we’re aiming to provide with the 2021 version of the Parents Guide.”

Added Rajana Kumari, director of the Center for Social Research, “Our children are living a very active life online today, and it seems to come naturally to them. First, parents need to accept their child’s online presence. Second, they need to provide a safe space where the child feels comfortable enough to share his/her struggles and ask for help/support. Finally, parents need to update themselves in ways they can actually be of help to their children. The updated Instagram Guide for Parents is a very responsible step towards this direction, and we really appreciate it.”

This Guide is another step towards fostering a safe and supportive environment on the platform. Last year (2020), Instagram partnered with Yuvaa, a youth media, community engagement and insights company, to launch an initiative called #366daysofkindness. It engaged with youngsters across the country through workshops and hosting critical conversations with key psychologists and influencers on nurturing a safer online environment.