Does your teen regularly use Instagram? The easy to use, mobile photo-sharing application encourages users to instantly share their day with friends on the web. People as young as 13 are permitted to create an account. Studies have shown that younger teens are sharing on Instagram more frequently than on Facebook which means it is more important than ever for parents to understand how their children can use the application safely.
It also makes the recent report that Instagram has become the hottest new place for people to share their nude or explicit photos concerning. Like Twitter, Instagram pictures can include hashtags in their description which makes it easier for other users to search by subject. The Huffington Post reports that there are currently 135,000 photos tagged “latte” and 201,000 tagged “Instasex.”
But people aren’t just sharing x-rated photography. They are also using the application to proposition others for “adult” conversations on mobile messaging apps like Kik. I guess having cybersex in a chatroom is so 1996.
Instagram currently has over 80 million users who combined upload over 5 million photos a day, way too many for a staff of fifteen to properly police. Despite a limited capacity, the team is making an effort to combat the rise of images in violation of their terms of service, which prohibit “nude, partially nude or sexually suggestive photos.” Recently, they introduced the ability to flag inappropriate comments.
Users can choose to keep their accounts private in which case photographs shared on the account would only be viewable by friends. While this won’t stop your curious teen from searching for inappropriate images, it can keep the eyes of those with ill intentions away from the ins and outs of your child’s day.
Do you allow your teenager to use Instagram?