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Meta Adds New Parental Control Elements for Instagram and VR

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Meta Adds New Parental Control Elements for Instagram and VR


Meta’s rolling out a new set of parental supervision and control tools for both Instagram and Quest VR, which address key elements of concern with usage and exposure among younger users.

As you can see here, the new Parental Control center on IG essentially amalgamates the app’s existing parental control tools into a more centralized dashboard, providing more ways to manage your child’s usage of the app.

As explained by Instagram chief Adam Mosseri:

Parents and guardians know what’s best for their teens, and in December I committed to developing new supervision tools that allow them to be more involved in their teens’ experiences. Today, we’re making these supervision tools available in our new Family Center. We worked closely with experts, parents, guardians and teens to develop Family Center, a new place for parents to oversee their teens’ accounts within Meta technologies, set up and use supervision tools, and access resources on how to communicate with their teens about internet use.”

The only functional addition here is the additional resources for parents, with Instagram initially adding parental control options back in December.

But the broader view for the Family Center is that it will eventually become a hub from which parents can oversee all aspects of their children’s usage of Meta’s apps, including VR, which has also been added as a component in this initial release.

As you can see from the above screens, on Instagram, parents will be able to use the Family Center to view how much time their kids are spending in the app, and set time limits, while they’ll also be able to get notifications when their child has reported someone, and view and receive updates on what accounts their kids follow (as well as the accounts that follow their teens).

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Instagram says that over the next few months, it will add more features, including letting parents set the hours during which their teen can use Instagram and the ability for more than one parent to supervise a child’s account.

In VR, Meta is also adding a range of new control and supervision tools, starting with the ability for parents to link to their teen’s account. Parents will then be able to approve app downloads by their child, block specific apps, view headset screen time, monitor their Oculus friends and block Link and Air Link, which will prevent their child from accessing content from their PC on their Quest headset.

Meta VR parental controls

Meta’s also expanding the capacity to use of unlock patterns to limit access to certain VR apps and features.

Today, you can create an unlock pattern as an extra layer of security to prevent others from accessing your device or saved passwords. Beginning in April, we’ll introduce the ability for people to use the unlock pattern to lock specific apps directly from VR. Once a given app is locked, you’ll need to draw your unlock pattern to unlock and launch it. This will allow parents to prevent teens 13+ from accessing games and experiences they feel aren’t age-appropriate by using an unlock pattern to lock access to those apps.

It’s not a foolproof system, and the increasingly immersive nature of VR threatens to be overwhelming for some users. But it’s a start, and an important step for Meta as it looks to usher in the next stage of digital connection.

This is a key area of concern in the evolving metaverse shift – because in Meta’s view, our online worlds are only going to become more immersive, which, as noted, also ups the risk. Already there have been various reports of sexual harassment and abuse within Meta’s VR worlds, and that type of exposure could be especially harmful for youngsters, which is something that absolutely needs to be factored into metaverse development.

As such, this is a critical focus, and it’s good to see Meta looking to make a more concerted effort here.

The new Instagram and VR supervision tools are available in the US today, with plans to roll out globally in the coming months. 





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Op-Ed: ‘Armed rebellion’ and ‘civil war’ calls get massively unimpressed response on Twitter

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Local law enforcement officers are seen in front of the home of former President Donald Trump at Mar-A-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida on August 9, 2022

Local law enforcement officers are seen in front of the home of former President Donald Trump at Mar-A-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida on August 9, 2022 – Copyright AFP/File Aleksey Filippov

Social media does turn out to be good for something, after all. Much raging online about Trump’s Mar-A-Lago raid isn’t going over. Maybe the endless tantrums are getting a bit stale. A virtual tide of Twitter responses isn’t buying it on any level.

One Tweet pointed out Trump said “they raided my home” before it was actually raided. Trump lawyers, meanwhile, said he wasn’t notified…? Generally speaking,  warrants are not carried out on an RSVP basis. You don’t ask the crack house when would be a good time to call, for example.

You may (or may not) also be interested to know that “Trump civil war” is now an auto search cue. The headlines for that search on Google News are really something else. The unimpressed response isn’t getting any coverage, hence this article. The picture is very different.

The adult news sticks to the point – Violation of the Espionage Act, Presidential Records Act; you know, law. Much of this media, understandably, focuses on “what next?”.

“Other” news is all about QAnon-like conspiracies. (If you’ve got no facts, fiction is your only real option.) Trump’s playing along with it as usual. Trump is seen doing a Mussolini salute, an actual Fascist fist, in various styles on multiple occasions. It looks more like a trained move. He wasn’t doing that previously, and he’s not good at it. Presumably, it means “defiance”, but it looks awkward and rehearsed.

Of course, the image has a role in anything to do with Trump. Trump is pumping the pity buttons in public. The GOP and MAGA are pushing the extreme rhetoric. As a marketing exercise, it’s selling sand to people living in deserts. The problem is that it doesn’t sell to anyone else.

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These thunderous noises also don’t quite gel with the fact that Trump lawyers, who requested documents regarding the warrant, haven’t yet agreed to make them public. As mixed messages go, it’s about what you’d expect from anything associated with Trump. Is there a problem with making them public? Could be.

Rebellion against what?

There’s a bit of a practical issue with “Trump civil war”, too. Any such thing would be total coast-to-coast carnage. Sandy Hooks and Uvaldes all round, no doubt. Does America, already so happily living among the gangs and mass shootings, really want a civil war?

Maybe not?

You’ll need to answer that question. …Because over half the country didn’t vote for that and they might get really ticked off about it.

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Disclaimer
The opinions expressed in this Op-Ed are those of the author. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of the Digital Journal or its members.

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