Expert: Instagram cracks down on teen sextortion

Published: 11 April 2024

Instagram is aiming to make it harder for potential scammers and criminals to coerce teens into sending nude photos and extort them for money. The company announced on Thursday it is testing new features to curb an alarming trend called financial sextortion, which often targets kids and teenagers. (CNN

Here is an expert from McGill University who can comment on this issue: 

Christopher Dietzel, Research Associate, iMPACTS   

“Instagram and other social media companies must do more to protect young people from technology-facilitated sexual violence, particularly since the consequences of these harms can be severe. For example, a 12-year-old boy in BC recently died by suicide after falling victim to sextortion. Automatically blurring nude images in direct messages is not enough, nor does it address the potential for sextortion, since perpetrators can still save, share, and use these images to abuse and exploit their victims. Instagram and other social media companies need to put policies and measures in place that hold perpetrators accountable, address the dissemination and exploitation of non-consensual sexual images, and educate young people about potential harms.”  

Christopher Dietzel (he/him) is a Research Associate on the iMPACTS Project at McGill University. His work explores the intersections of gender, sexuality, health, safety, and technology.  

christopher.dietzel [at] (English, French) 

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