This week, popular photo sharing app Instagram announced a new feature – photo tagging. Sounds like fun. You can take a picture of your friend and tag her, forever memorializing your bestie in your photo roll, and eventually making to picture available for others to see.
The beta test of the feature is private for now, but beginning May 16, the public will be able to see photos of you tagged with your name.
For the most part, this is going to be harmless – but what if the photo makes it off of Instagram and onto the web, complete with a label naming you? Parents will not want underage users subject to predator risk. Or, perhaps it won’t be so harmless when the photo is something that will embarrass you or make you look bad in the eyes of family, college admissions folks or future employers. If you were having a little too much fun at that underage party, it could come back to haunt you.
There is a solution. According to Wired:
Instagram will let you remove tags and turn on a setting so that photos need your approval before appearing in your Photos of You section. And not everyone can go crazy with tagging — only the user of a photo can tag their own images.
People, particularly teens, are going to want to be very careful with their Instagram privacy settings, even if their “Instagram friends” are all very close. What a friend thinks is a cute or funny picture of you might indeed be very embarrassing a couple of years from now under different circumstances.
Contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for monitoring teen internet activity.