Instagram this week announced it’s testing several new systems for age verification. This includes recording a video selfie and submitting it to an AI-powered facial recognition tool. The goal is for teenagers to verify their age and comply with platform rules.
Meta, (formerly Facebook) Instagram’s parent company, requires its users to be at least 13 years old, and many skirt around that requirement by changing their date of birth under account settings. Even worse, many change it to appear 18, allowing access to even more content.
U.S. teens attempting to change their age on Instagram will be offered three different verification systems. Those are: upload an image of their ID, ask three adult IG users to vouch for the change, or submit a video selfie.
Before today, Instagram only had the option to take an image of an ID to verify the age. However, it’s now offering two additional methods that are both rather odd. The first one is “Social Vouching.” You can submit three adult accounts to the company, which it’ll reach out to and let them confirm the change.
And the third option is the one that might raise some eyebrows. Users can opt to record a video selfie of their face from multiple angles and then submit it to Instagram’s AI verification system, Yoti. The software can reportedly easily verify people between the ages of 13-19.
Meta says the technology cannot recognize your identity and only your age. The company stated that it hopes the new methods will ensure teens have an “age-appropriate experience” on Instagram.
The company has faced criticism regarding teen and child safety, so it’ll be interesting to see how the general public receives this new system. All three verification systems are now available in the U.S. and will likely roll out to other regions soon.