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Pinterest reveals a new series of security features to make its platforms secure for teens. These features include private profiles, messages, or more control over the followers.
Now on Pinterest, users under 16 can choose to either create a private or public account. Private accounts will not be searchable on the platform, and the users can send the personal profile link to connect with friends. These private accounts are enabled by default for all the users under 16, and they are only discoverable for the other users on the platform once they share a unique link with them.
Moreover, teens under 16 have more control over their followers than others. They can review all followers and remove those they do not wish to track their pictures. Once the changes go live, all followers of existing underage users will be removed automatically, urging them to connect with trusted contacts via a profile link. Although it enhances security measures, these changes come as bad news for teens diligently working on growing followers on Pinterest. These changes became essential after NBC News reported that pedophiles had created image boards of young girls on the platform. Many underage users lie about their age, making their profile searchable and vulnerable to attacks. To combat this, platforms change their age verification policies. Users claiming to be 18 or over must send additional information, such as a government ID, for identity verification.
Pinterest also made clear to a US senator that they are adding more employees to the content moderator team and enhancing security features which enables users to report inappropriate content and accounts. The company said they are blocking accounts which are involved in “nudity, pornography or sexualized content, or intentional misuse minors.” In addition, Pinterest CEO, Bill Ready, stated “we’ve noted this multiple times that Gen Z is our fastest-growing demographic and our largest contributor to overall engagement, which means it’s not just a high growth rate on a small denominator. It’s our largest contributor to overall engagement growth. To be able to say that we have Gen Z, a more recent cohort that’s actually engaging even more deeply than our prior cohorts, I think, is quite exceptional.” Pinterest expressed that all these security changes will be implemented this week, so users have to wait for a week to see them in action.