Improved Safety Controls on Instagram, and Discord & More



Social media giant Meta has announced a new set of parental controls for Instagram and Quest Virtual Reality headsets.

The new Instagram measures include an expansion of information available to parents about their children’s use of the platform, such as which accounts their child has reported and why, and the ability to set limits on the amount of time they spend on the platform.

The Quest VR measures include allowing parents to view all the different apps their children are using, and the option to approve or disapprove the purchase of an app with a recommended age limit that is higher than the user’s age.

“This is just a starting point, informed by careful collaboration with industry experts, and we’ll continue to grow and evolve our parental supervision tools over time,” Meta said in the announcement.

“We’ll continue working with experts and organizations to make even more resources for parents and guardians available.”


Instant messaging platform Discord has launched an ‘AutoMod’ tool designed to better safeguard groups, known as ‘servers’ on the platform.

The AutoMod tool automatically detects and blocks messages which contain harmful words or phrases before they’re posted, and alerts moderators of its decisions.

Moderators and admins on Discord, who usually have to make decisions manually to take down messages or eject members from groups, can also switch on a tool on AutoMod which automatically gives a user a time-out period from the group if their messages are taken down for being harmful.

“Community moderating should feel rewarding and fulfilling, and we want to make it easier for moderators to maintain a clean space for members by empowering them with better tools,” Discord said in the announcement.

Alongside the launch, Discord has also set up an educational page known as ‘Community Resources’ to help admins and moderators grow their servers safely.


Young people aged 18-24 are the most likely age group to fall victim to an investment scam, according to new research by Lloyd’s Bank.

Reports of impersonation fraud on Instagram have increased 155% over the past year, while victims of fraud have lost an average of £336 to Instagram scams over the past year.

Lloyds gave a number of recommendations to help stop young people falling victim to scams on social media, including avoiding giving over personal information to content that was liked or shared by a friend online, and watching out for unexpected requests for money.

It come as the UK and the US governments announce a collaboration to advance privacy-enhancing technologies or PETs as a means to combat financial crime.

PETs are designed to allow organisations to exchange financial information in a way that protects user privacy while also identifying suspicious behaviour that can be further investigated.

Up to $2 trillion of cross-border money laundering takes place each year, according to United Nations estimates.


The UK government has announced a new digital strategy to bolster the UK’s credentials as a global tech hub.

The strategy will seek to bring cross-government policies on a range of issues together to provide the right economic conditions in which tech firms can grow, including tech infrastructure and a favourable regulatory regime.

The government will also be bringing tech skills together in a Digital Skills Council to assess skills shortages in the tech sector and review the UK’s large-scale computer processing technologies.

Digital Minister Chris Philp said the strategy “is the roadmap we will follow to strengthen our global position as a science and technology superpower.”

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