American social media company Facebook is introducing in-app notifications in Messenger to warn people who are about to connect with someone impersonating someone else or simply trying to scam them.
According to Mashable, if you're talking to someone and they ask for money out of nowhere, Messenger will essentially tap you on the shoulder with these "safety notices" and pop up a "Steps you can take" alert, suggesting what you should do in order to avoid a potential scam or fraud. The feature goes live for both iOS and Android users.
Individual users below the age of 18 will now receive alerts if an adult is attempting to engage in an inappropriate conversation, as per Facebook. The alert has received praise from internet safety advocates, including the CEO of the Family Online Safety Institute, Stephen Balkam.
He said, "It's important to use language that empowers people to make wise decisions and think more critically about who they're interacting with online. We're especially glad to see this reflected in the thoughtful approach around safety considerations for younger users."
Facebook's director of product management, Messenger privacy and safety, Jay Sullivan, wrote in an official blog post, "As we move to end-to-end encryption, we are investing in privacy-preserving tools like this to keep people safe without accessing message content. We developed these safety tips with machine learning that looks at behavioral signals like an adult sending a large amount of friend or message requests to people under 18. This ensures that the new features will be available and effective when Messenger is end-to-end encrypted."