Instagram makes sharing date of birth compulsory

Users must input their birthday to continue using Instagram’s service.   | Photo Credit: Reuters

Instagram has made it mandatory for all users to enter their date of birth, an attempt to make the platform safe for younger users.

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The Facebook-owned company began the practice of asking for users’ birth dates in 2019, emphasising that users must be at least 13 years old to have an account according to the company's terms of service.

The platform witnessed criticism thereafter as the optional feature provided a backdoor for several younger users to bypass restrictions and continue using the app. Now, users must input their birthday to continue using Instagram’s service, the company said in a statement.

The image-sharing platform will show notifications to users who haven’t shared their birthday when they open the app. The app will also display warning screens placed on posts, making it compulsory for users to input their birthday to view the post.

Also Read | Why Instagram for kids is being criticised by lawmakers and child rights groups

Instagram also said it will use artificial intelligence (AI) to crosscheck the birthday information added by users. “In the future, if someone tells us they’re above a certain age, and our technology tells us otherwise, we’ll show them a menu of options to verify their age,” the company added.

In July, Instagram elaborated in a blog post how its AI-powered system identifies underage accounts. The company is said to have trained the technology to recognise multiple signals, including messages like “Happy 21st Bday”. The system will also look at the age shared by the user to Facebook and apply it to all other linked apps.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2022 6:09:08 AM |

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