The picture-oriented social platform, Pinterest, has announced new features designed to enhance teen safety on its platform. Chief among them is that people under 16 will be forced to have private profiles that are non-discoverable and can only be shared with unique profile links.
The company said that people over the age of 16 will be able to choose whether they would like to have a private account too, but they can ultimately keep it public – this option isn’t available for those under 16.
Alongside this change, the company has also decided to remove the followers of people under 16 so they can decide manually who gets to follow them, this will allow them to let in those who they trust and keep out those who they don’t. It said that all users will be able to review and remove followers too.
When it comes to messaging and group boards, these will be available to all users. In the case of those under 16, they will only be able to send and receive messages from mutual followers who have accepted through a unique profile link which expires after three days or when they get five new followers with the link, whichever comes first.
Finally, the company wants to give parents more control over their children’s usage with an update to passcodes. Pinterest said that parents and carers can already require a passcode to change account settings for their teens but in the latest update, adults will be able to opt in and out of the parental passcode and update the protected settings on their teen’s account.
Pinterest is not the only company to start implementing more protections aimed at children. Twitch announced in June that it was cleaning its website up with content classification labels and as a precautionary tale, TikTok got fined £27 million in the UK for child privacy lapses.
These actions are being taken because governments around the world from China to the United Kingdom are taking action to either limit screen time in the case of China or to limit inappropriate content in the case of the UK. Companies that fail to meet these requirements can get into hot water.