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Instagram introduces Video Selfie and Social Vouching as new options to verify age

Instagram&039s Confirm Your Age page

Nowadays, we are seeing extensive research being done on the use of social media and how it impacts different people of different age groups. It is now established that social media isn't safe for children, especially, with one study revealing that children are often exposed to inappropriate content right after they create social media accounts.

Knowing that without any supervision, children are at constant risk of exposure to inaccurate information, sexism, sites promoting self-harm, or materials directed at adults, many social media giants have started putting in efforts to provide age-appropriate experiences on their platforms.

In addition to setting accounts to private by default for underage users, Instagram has now also announced that it is adding more ways of verifying age on the social media app to reduce the chances of inappropriate media exposure. Currently, those in the US will need to verify their age by either uploading their I.D., recording a video selfie, or through Social Vouching which allows you to ask mutual friends to verify your age in case you change your date of birth to 18 or over.

Commenting on the age verification process without an I.D., a spokesperson from Instagram stated:

Understanding someone’s age online is a complex, industry-wide challenge. We want to work with others in our industry, and with governments, to set clear standards for age verification online. Many people, such as teens, don’t always have access to the forms of ID that make age verification clear and simple. As an industry, we have to explore novel ways to approach the dilemma of verifying someone’s age when they don’t have an ID.

We still believe an effective way of addressing this problem is for devices or App Stores to provide apps with people’s ages, allowing teens to be placed in age-appropriate experiences across all the apps they use. In the absence of industry standards or regulation on how to effectively verify age online, we’ve invested in a combination of technologies that are more equitable, provide more options to verify age and that protect the privacy of people using our technologies.

Apart from this, Instagram is also collaborating with an online age verification company verified by the Age Check Certification Scheme, Yoti, to aid in ensuring people's privacy. For this purpose, the company has mentioned that Meta and Yoti delete video selfies once your age is confirmed, and do not use them for any other reason. User I.D. is also encrypted, stored securely, and then deleted within 30 days.

For information on when these options will be available across the globe, we'll have to wait for new announcements from the company.

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