Instagram’s minimum age for new users is 13; but that is one rule the company has made little or not effort to enforce over the years. As a matter of fact, the company did not consider age verification a matter of priority until 2019; but its efforts have never been deemed to be sufficient enough by critics. Is that about to change now?
Instagram, according to The Verge, is currently testing new methods for users to verify their age. The method involves using an AI tool built by a third-party company called Yoti, to estimate your real age just by scanning your face.
Users are usually asked to verify their age by sending in pictures of various IDs; and this happens when teenagers try to edit their birth date to show they are indeed 18 or older. The new tool, however, gives users additional options including, social vouching and AI estimation. Both options are now open to users in the US.
What is Social Vouching?
With social vouching, Instagram will ask three mutual followers of the user to confirm how old you are. The mutual followers, however, will have to be older than 18, and will have to respond to Instagram’s request within three days.
What is AI Estimation?
With AI estimation, a user will have to send a video selfie to a third-party company, Yoti, which makes use of machine learning to estimate a person’s age. Yoti is a well-known face recognition company that uses various facial signals to estimate your real age.
Yoti says it does not retain any data your share with it; the assurance is needed considering how skeptical people are when it comes to this kind of technology.
It is not certain how accurate Yoti’s result is, however, The Verge cited a data report where it says between 0 to 11 guesses out of 1,000 would be mistakes. According to the data, Yoti’s data as represented by the table below shows that its “system is less accurate for female faces and people with darker skin, and that for under-24s its estimates can be off by up to 2.5 years.”
Instagram continues to take steps to ensure the safety of everyone—teens especially. The Meta-owned photo-sharing app recently rolled out several new features to make its app safer for teens.
Prominent among the new measures is “Take a Break;” a feature that will encourage you to take a break and to set reminders for the future. Teens will be notified to set reminders to make sure they are aware of the new feature. They will also see expert-backed tips to help them “reflect and reset,”