Instagram Testing Age Verification Tools Including Video Selfies

Instagram Parental control
Photo courtesy

Instagram is testing new age-verification tools to address concerns from parents and lawmakers. The photo-sharing app will use three methods to verify the ages of users starting with those attempting to edit their ages to older than 18 years.

“When we know if someone is a teen (13-17 years), 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,” Erica Finkle, director of data governance at Meta, said in a blog post.

The Meta-owned company said that apart from requiring the users to upload a photo ID, they will also need to upload video selfies and asking mutual friends to confirm the age.

Read: Instagram Now Allows Parents to Set Time Limits for Teens

Last year, the social media giant attracted backlash after whistleblower Frances Haugen revealed Meta’s moderation lapses. A report publicized by the WSJ showed that Facebook’s internal investigation revealed that the app was causing mental and body image issues to young users on the app.

Instagram has partnered with Yoti, acompany that specializes in age verification to ensure privacy. Once an Instagram user uploads a video selfie, Yoti will use its Artificial Intelligence to estimate the age based on facial features.

Another option is for users to select three mutual friends who are above 18 years old to vouch for them.

Read: Google’s New Tool to Allow for Removal of Minors’ Images from Search Results

Instagram recently started rolling out its Family centre as it seeks to tighten moderation for younger users on the platform. The tool allows users to put a time limit for younger users on the platform, and monitor their activities, including reported DMs.

Early this year, Instagram pulled the plug on the development of its kids version after religious leaders urged the company to discontinue it. Instagram was planning to develop a kids’ version that would integrate parental controls and surface age appropriate content for the under-age users.

The new age-verification tools will be tested with users starting in the US.

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Written by Vanessa Murrey

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