axios.com/2022/06/23/instagram-age-verification-social-media-children

Instagram is the latest platform to launch new tools aimed at enforcing its age policies, as kids' screen time rises and regulators threaten greater scrutiny of social media’s affects on children.

Why it matters: Social media giants are grappling with how to determine with certainty the age of their visitors to both evade regulatory crosshairs and create safer online experiences for children.

Driving the news: Instagram on Thursday said, starting in the U.S., if a user tries to edit their birthdate from under 18 to over 18, they will have to prove their age in one of three ways:

Upload their IDs, which are deleted within 30 days.Record a video selfie that will be reviewed by Yoti, a company that uses facial analysis technology to estimate age and then deletes the video.Ask three mutual followers who are at least 18 to confirm the users' age, an option Instagram calls social vouching.

The big picture: Apps are experimenting with methods of verifying ages beyond simply asking users to plug in a birthdate, as well as designing separate versions of their services for younger users.

Youth gaming platform Roblox in September announced a new age verification system requiring users to upload a photo ID and a selfie to prove they're real.YouTube created a standalone app, YouTube Kids, for users under 13 while Facebook launched Messenger Kids for younger users.TikTok created a view-only version of its video-sharing app for kids under 13, and removed 15 million underage accounts between October and December last year. The company removed 3.5 million suspected underage account during that same time period in 2020.

What they're saying: Erica Finkle, director of data governance at Instagram-parent Meta, told Axios the new age verification system is only for users attempting to edit their birthdate to make them older than 18 for now, but could be expanded in the future.

"We're focused on really providing age-appropriate experiences and so that's why...
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