How will Facebook identify who’s minor or not?
On Tuesday, July 27, Facebook releases a blog post explaining how their system would function in its proposed Instagram for children app. The said app has been controversial on social media.
As they explained, the company pushes to use artificial intelligence (AI) to determine which user is too old for the children’s app. Here’s how it works.
How does Facebook know your real age?
Whenever signing up for Facebook, or any social media platform, age is one of the top questions. For Facebook, the age requirement should be at least 13 years old and above. This rule also applies to Instagram.
All children that are below the said age could be reported and banned from the app. Unfortunately, not everyone follows this rule. Most of the time, there are still accounts of children on Facebook or Instagram. It’s because it is easy to lie about someone’s birthdate on social media.
This is what parents and other adults worry about Facebook’s plan to make an Instagram app for children.
Now, Facebook finally had an answer.
In its recent blog post, the social media giant answered all concerns about age verification on the new Instagram app.
No IDs needed
Just like in real-life, identification cards are usually the main document you want to see when checking someone’s birth year. For Facebook, however, this option cannot be made.
As explained by them, ID collection is not possible for the Instagram for children app. First, the majority of children in the world have no IDs with their names on them. Facebook said there are a lot of factors to consider if the kid-friendly Instagram will implement ID verification. Therefore, for now, the option seemed to be impossible for the company.
Young people have private accounts
Another thing that worries most parents about the new Instagram is the possibility of adults being able to contact children on the app. Interestingly, Facebook has a solution for it.
Based on the blog post, Facebook plans to set the children’s Instagram on private account default. Through this, other regular users will not see the children’s posts and vice versa.
Limited advertisers for young people
Advertising is a crucial part of any social media platform, but mainly for Facebook. This is where the company gets its money back from promoting products, that could interest users. Unfortunately, it is also an issue with Instagram for children.
Sensitive or non-kid-friendly advertising products could sometimes pop up in a kid’s feed through social media. Thus, developing their curiosity behind those promotions.
As an answer to this issue, Facebook promised to limit advertisers on Instagram for children app.
Starting in a few weeks, we’ll only allow advertisers to target ads to people under 18 (or older in certain countries) based on their age, gender and location. This means that previously available targeting options, like those based on interests or on their activity on other apps and websites, will no longer be available to advertisers. These changes will be global and apply to Instagram, Facebook and Messenger.
The main answer of Facebook on age verification is through AI. As they explained, the company will use technology to find out which user is a real minor or not. It can depend on the posts, comments, or likes of a certain user.