Instagram finally starts checking if its users are over 13 years old

Dec 4, 2019

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

Instagram finally starts checking if its users are over 13 years old

Dec 4, 2019

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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After gathering more than one billion users on the platform, Instagram has finally decided check their age. Therefore, all new users who sign up will be required to enter their birth date. The social media giant claims that this will “prevent underage people from joining Instagram” and help to “build a safer experience for the youngest members.”

According to Instagram’s Terms of Use, you must be at least 13 years old to have an account in most countries. Perhaps you remember that other social media asked for your birthdate when you were signing up: Facebook, Snapchat, TikTok, and so on… However, although Instagram’s Terms of Use have required users to be over 13, it hasn’t been checked. Until now.

Starting today, Instagram will be asking for the users’ date of birth when they create an account. In case you sign up with Facebook, the birth date on your profile will automatically be added to Instagram. In either case, this information won’t be visible to other users. You’ll be able to see it within your private account information.

Image credits: Instagram

“In the coming months, we will use the birthday information you share with us to create more tailored experiences, such as education around account controls and recommended privacy settings for young people,” Instagram writes. However, there are two major problems in this approach.

First, as I mentioned, there are already one billion active Instagram users. As you can guess, many of them are underage, but Instagram will only be checking the birthdays of the new users. And second, this system is way too easy to bypass. It’s enough to put a fake date of birth and voila. I can’t even count my former students who created Facebook profiles like this when they were 10-11 years old.

I believe Instagram’s intention is good. Also, I believe that they’re required to check the users’ age under the Child Online Privacy Protection Act. However, if they really want to filter out users under 13, I think they should come up with a more reliable system of age checking.

[via Tech Crunch]

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Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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3 responses to “Instagram finally starts checking if its users are over 13 years old”

  1. Straxie Avatar
    Straxie

    About time! Social media is just another stress factor in teenage life in addition to homework and hormones. And while you can do nothing about hormones, social media can be postponed and some of hometasks can be helped with here.

  2. ReneK Avatar
    ReneK

    Asking for a birth date is NOT checking your birth date
    The latter would require ID validation.

  3. Tod Heckert Avatar
    Tod Heckert

    just like on FB..