Meta rolls out Instagram parental supervision tools in the Philippines

META Platforms, Inc., the owner of Facebook, last week launched new Instagram tools and resources to ensure the online safety of children in the Philippines.

The company launched Instagram Parental Supervision Tools and Family Center in the Philippines “after extensive consultation with experts, parents, guardians and young people including from the Department of Information and Communications Technology, UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund) Philippines, and the De La Salle University Social Development Research Center,” it said in a statement.

These are available in English and Filipino.

“We want young people to have an experience that is both fun and safe when using our apps, and we want to support their parents to assist them in doing this,” Meta Philippine Public Policy Head Clare Amador was quoted as saying.

“Our intention is for these tools and resources to strike the right balance between young people’s desire for autonomy online, whilst allowing for some involvement from parents and caregivers to help ensure their teen is having a safe experience online. Keeping young people safe online is one of our most important responsibilities, and we remain committed to continuing our investment in new tools, products and resources,” Ms. Amador said.

Family Center is a platform where parents and guardians can access resources “to help young people build positive online habits.”

“Through the Family Center, parents and guardians can now set up new tools to oversee the Instagram accounts of young people in their family,” Meta said.

“Over time, the Family Center will become a key resource to help parents, guardians, and young people manage experiences across all Meta technologies.”

Family Center can be accessed on the Instagram app. It features articles, videos and tips on online safety and tutorials on how to use Instagram Parental Supervision Tools.

The supervision tools allow parents and guardians to manage time spent on Instagram by setting screen time limits and scheduling breaks. They can also monitor new connections and reports.

“Parents and guardians can send invitations on Instagram to young people in their family to initiate Supervision tools, and vice versa,” Meta said.

Meta said it held roundtables with experts from the government, the academe, and nonprofit organizations in the Philippines ahead of the launch. These discussions focused on “how to empower teens to make healthy decisions for self-supervision, how to build trusted networks of support, and how to support families to create boundaries for safe use together.”

“Understanding Filipino teens’ psychosocial and adolescent development and how the teen brain works can help us better know what measures to work with when dealing with social media supervision. We cannot impose rules without good relationships with your children. We need to make it balanced,” Ma. Emma Llanto of the Society of Adolescent Medicine of the Philippines said.