Meta Changes Policies to Restrict Teen-Targeted Ads on Facebook, Instagram

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Meta Inc. changed the rules for its apps on Wednesday so that teens can use them safely, the company said in a blog.

The tech giant has taken away the option for advertisers to find out the gender of teens. From February on, this would be true.

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Also, the company said that how teens use its family of apps, like following certain Instagram posts or Facebook pages, won’t have any effect on the kinds of ads they see.

“We’ll only use a teen’s age and location to decide which ads to show them. Age and location help us continue to make sure that ads for teens show them products and services that are available where they live and are meant for their age “The business said in the blog.

Before this, in a similar effort to stop predatory ads from reaching teens, Meta had changed how advertisers can reach teens. For example, advertisers could no longer reach teens based on their interests and activities.

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“We’re adding more settings and information for teens that will help them understand how ads work and why they see particular ads on our applications,” the business stated. These modifications are based on research, direct feedback from parents and experts on child development, UN principles about children’s rights, and global rules.

Ad Topic Controls will give teens more ways to control the kinds of ads they see on Facebook and Instagram starting in March. This is in addition to what is already available. Teens will be able to change the kinds of ads they see by going to the settings for both apps and selecting “See Less” or “No Preference” under “Ad Preferences.”

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These changes are the latest attempt to protect the privacy of Meta’s youngest users after the fact. In 2021, Instagram stopped letting advertisers target teens based on their outside-of-Instagram interests or online activities.

Meta was given a fine of about $400 million for these offenses. At the time, the company said it would file an appeal and criticized the Irish regulator for punishing the company for its past actions.

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