Meta-owned Instagram has brought its new test for users to verify their age via an original ID or video selfie to India, amid growing worries that kids are using fake dates of birth to create profiles on social media platforms.
If someone attempts to edit their date of birth on Instagram from under the age of 18 to 18, or over, in India, the company will now require them to verify their age using one of two options: upload their ID or record a video selfie.
“We’re testing this so we can make sure teens and adults are in the right experience for their age group. Testing began in June this year in the US, and now it’s expanding to India and Brazil,” the company said.
The company plans to expand the test to the UK and the EU before the end of the year.
“We’re also removing Social Vouching as an option to verify age from the test to make some improvements,” Instagram added.
The Social Vouching option allowed users to ask mutual followers to confirm how old they were. The three people they selected to vouch for them received a request to confirm their age and needed to respond within three days.
Now, those part of the test can choose to upload a video selfie to verify their age in India.
“If you choose this option, you’ll see instructions on your screen to guide you. After you take a video selfie, we share the image with Yoti, and nothing else. Yoti’s technology estimates your age based on your facial features and shares that estimate with us,” according to Instagram.
Yoti is a company that offers privacy-preserving ways to verify age.
“Meta and Yoti then delete the image. The technology cannot recognize your identity – just your age,” it added.
The company requires people to be at least 13 years old to sign up for Instagram.
Earlier this week, the UK’s media watchdog Ofcom said that more than one-third of children between age 8 and 17 are using various social media platforms after signing up with fake dates of birth.
“Our latest research shows that most (77 per cent) social media users aged between eight and 17 have their own account or profile on at least one of the large social media platforms,” Ofcom said in a statement.