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Instagram has taken a significant step toward protecting children and teens from falling victims to depraved adults on the social media platform.

The social media site, which is owned by Facebook, will block adults from direct messaging children if the minor doesn't already follow them.

Instagram announced the new changes on Tuesday.

Minors who follow adults on Instagram will also receive notices if the adult has "been exhibiting suspicious behavior," such as sending "a large amount of friend or message requests to people under 18."

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Other prompts will remind teens not to feel pressured to respond to adults who are messaging them, according to the website.

Instagram said in order to make the new changes work, children must provide their real age when signing up for a new account.

"We require everyone to be at least 13 to use Instagram and have asked new users to provide their age when they sign up for an account for some time," the announcement reads. "While many people are honest about their age, we know that young people can lie about their date of birth."
 

Top photo: ©JGI/Jamie Grill/Blend Images LLC

2nd photo: Illustration by Lorenzo Di Cola/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Photo by JGI/Jamie Grill via Getty Images

Does your minor child own a cell phone? If the answer is yes, he or she has probably been exposed to "sexting" or sexual text messages.

A new study shows 37% of children who own cell phones are exposed to sexting by age 13. The data for the study came from a parenting app called Jiminy that allows parents to regulate the content their children see on the Internet.

The company found that 14.8% of children who own a smartphone had sent or received a sexual text message by age 10 and more than 37% had sent or received sexting messages by age 13.

Jiminy warns parents that their children are far more open to sexual exploration online, which puts them at risk of being approached by sexual predators.

"Sexting is quickly becoming a normative form of sexual exploration among preteens and teens," the study finds. "As such, parents would expect the real possibility that their children may be approached by others, known or unknown, or approach others in a sexually explicit manner."

Children T-shirt line

The children's clothing company behind a racist monkey T-shirt display released a statement today calling the display a "total misunderstanding." The company was criticized for hanging the monkey T-shirts on hangars featuring a black boy's head. Other T-shirts displayed in the same line featured Caucasian children on the hangars.

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Shawty Lo and E'creia

Oxygen is planning to air a one-hour TV special featuring rapper Shawty Lo. The only surprising aspect of the latest urban reality show to litter the airwaves is it will feature 7 of his 10 baby mamas. Shawty Lo has a total of 11 kids from 10 baby mamas, according to Talkingwithtami.com.

The show "captures the highs and lows of this extreme ‘blended family’ that is anything but ordinary, while also showing the drama and the passion behind life’s most unexpected situations."

Shawty Lo's baby mamas include:

E’creia “The First Lady”
Angela aka “Chocolate” the “Fighter Baby Mama”
Amanda “The Jealous Baby Mama”
Sujuan “Wanna Be-Bougie” Baby Mama
Tamara “No Drama Baby Mama”
Serena “The Shady Baby Mama”
Leiana aka Pebbles “The Baby Mama From Hell”

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