Popular social media platform Instagram, which Meta owns, has introduced new ways of verifying users’ age in a bid to curb underage account signups.
Instagram requires any user joining the platform to be 13 years and above, but cases of underage users have been reported. Some users try to circumvent the 13+ age rule by editing their date of birth so that they appear over 18.
Earlier this month, a Californian family of a teenage girl sued Instagram for allegedly leading their preteen daughter into addiction, eating disorders and suicidal thoughts.
It’s in the backdrop of such cases that the company is now enforcing new measures to ensure users comply with the required age limit. Instagram is testing video selfies and social vouching as ways of verifying a person’s age.
In the United States, teens are now required to upload their ID, ask three adults to confirm their age or take a video selfie. For video selfie, the company says it has partnered with Yoti, a company that offers privacy-preserving ways to verify age.
“After you take a video selfie, we share the image with Yoti, and nothing else. Yoti’s technology estimates your age based on your facial features and shares that estimate with us.” The company said in a blog post.
Last year, several US states commenced a probe into children’s experiences on the photo-sharing app, after Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen leaked information on underage accounts.
“When we know if someone is a teen (13-17), we provide them with age-appropriate experiences like defaulting them into private accounts, preventing unwanted contact from adults they don’t know and limiting the options advertisers have to reach them with ads.” The social media giant said.