Facebook has added some new safety and control options to Messenger to coincide with Safer Internet Day (February 9th), giving users more ways to easily manage who can contact them through the app.

As you can see in the video above, in addition to the existing privacy and control options, Facebook has added three new tools to provide more control over your in-app experience.

The first new addition is extra context on message requests:

“Message requests now come with new features to give you context for who the requestor is, bulk delete options, and blurred images or videos. We also made the delete and block options more prominent in the request thread to help people take action if they don’t want to reply to the message.”

That will make it more difficult for users to spam you with unwanted images, which can be a significant problem for young people in particular.

Facebook’s also testing a new, simplified reporting process to help people action abuse or harassment, while it’s also looking to provide more feedback on the status of reported messages.

It has also been made easier for users to review accounts that they’ve blocked, and added new filtering options for message requests.

 

The new tools will make it easier for users to control their in-app experience, and manage unwanted interactions.

In addition to this, Facebook also notes that it’s taking extra precautions to protect younger users.

“For example, we use behavioural signals like an adult sending a large amount of friend or message requests to people under 18 to share safety notices, identify and remove potentially harmful accounts and protect minors.”

The added alerts and simplified control options will make it easier for users to avoid what can become increasingly difficult situations, and with more people relying on social and messaging apps to stay in touch with the outside world amid the restrictions of the pandemic, such tools are more important than ever, as is digital literacy education and increased awareness around such risks.

Given this, these are good, welcome updates from Facebook Messenger, which will no doubt prove valuable in many ways.

You can read more about Messenger’s various privacy and control options here and also view our top tips for keeping your kids safe online.

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