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Meta ups parental controls on VR platform, Instagram

Facebook’s parent company Meta is rolling out an expanded set of parental supervision tools for Instagram and Quest VR headsets, the tech giant said Tuesday. Meta is expanding on the parental supervision features it unveiled in March, and adding new resources for parents that encourage dialogue to help foster positive online experiences for teens.

For Quest VR headsets, Meta is rolling out features that allow parents and guardians to approve or deny downloads and purchases and block specific apps that may be inappropriate. Parents can also view things like their teen’s headset screen time, apps downloaded to the device and a list of Quest friends.

On Instagram, Meta is giving parents and guardians the ability to send invitations to their teens to initiate supervision tools, set specific times when they’d like to limit their teen’s screen time and view information related to when their teen reports an account or post.

These expanded tools are available now in the US, and will be rolled out in the UK, Japan, Australia, Ireland, Canada, France and Germany later this month. Meta plans to roll the features out globally by the end of the year.

Additionally, parents and guardians will be able to use “nudges” to encourage their teens to take a break or discover something new on Instagram if they notice their teens constantly consuming the same type of content on Explore.

The expanded parental controls come as Meta faces increased criticism that it doesn’t do enough to protect young users of its platforms. The company is dealing with multiple lawsuits alleging its algorithms harm young users, and in December lawmakers grilled Instagram chief Adam Mosseri at a Senate hearing, contending that the platform falls short in keeping young users safe. CNET

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