Instagram and Facebook to Limit Advertising That Targets Teens

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Meta is tightening restrictions on how advertisers on Facebook and Instagram target teenage users.

In a blog post on Tuesday, Meta announced that advertisers on Instagram and Facebook will not be able to access as much personalized data to target ads to young users. Teens will also be able to control what ads they see.

Starting in February, advertisers will no longer be able to see a younger user’s gender or the type of posts they have engaged with as a way of targeting adverts to them.

Under the enhanced restrictions, only a user’s age and location will be used to show to advertisers on Instagram and Facebook.

According to Meta, this will ensure that teens only see ads that are meant for their age and products and services available where they live.

Beginning in March, teens will have more ways to manage the types of ads they see on Facebook and Instagram with Ad Topic Controls.

Younger users will be able to go to their Ad Preferences within Settings on both social media apps and choose topics they want to see fewer ads about.

Teens can also choose to hide any or all advertisements from a specific advertiser.

“The topics we already restrict in our policies will be defaulted to See Less, so that teens can’t choose to opt into content that may not be age-appropriate,’ Meta writes.

‘We’ve added a new privacy page with more information for teens about the tools and privacy settings they can use across our technologies.”

However, according to The Verge, it appears that there is no way for users under 18 to completely turn off ads about certain products or services.

The enhanced restrictions come after Seattle Public Schools filed a lawsuit against the tech giants behind Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, YouTube, and Snapchat, accusing them of harming young people’s mental health.

The lawsuit alleges that these social media companies have created a public nuisance by targeting their products to young users.

Image credits: Header photo licensed via Depositphotos.