Instagram demanding users' birthdays to enforce child safety measures

Posted:
in iOS edited August 30
Instagram is requiring all users to supply their date of birth, in a bid to make the Facebook-owned image and video-sharing iOS app safer for younger users.




Many apps request ages for compliance purposes, such as to stay within the rules of COPPA. In a change to the social media app's policies, Instagram is now going to force users to supply that information, or be prevented from using the service entirely.

Instagram started to ask users to supply their birthday in 2019, but it was possible to dismiss the request. Announced on Thursday, users will soon have to actually provide the information without ignoring the notice or else face not being able to use the account.

As well as prompting with an occasional notice, Instagram will start requiring users to enter the birthday to see sensitive or graphic content.

In case an incorrect birthday is given, Instagram is also working on AI to estimate the age of users, based on post content like "Happy Birthday" posts. In theory, the in-development system will identify if a user has added an older age than they really are, which could trigger verification systems to correct the age.

Instagram claims the change will allow it to "create new safety features for young people, and helps ensure we provide the right experiences to the right age group."

In March, Instagram made it harder for adults to send messages to users under the age of 18 who do not follow them. In July, Instagram made it so that new accounts for users aged under 16 would be private by default.

Reports surfaced in March that Instagram was considering a version of the service for children aged 13 or under. The rumors prompted attorneys general from 44 states to ask Facebook to reconsider its creation.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 17
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,560member
    Oh really? Okay, I’m 13 but I’ll enter my birth date so I’m 18 on your site. How to you plan to authenticate my age? Or is this simply CYA on your part? “She lied about her age so we are not responsible."
    edited August 30
  • Reply 2 of 17
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 1,772member
    lkrupp said:
    Oh really? Okay, I’m 13 but I’ll enter my birth date so I’m 18 on your site. How to you plan to authenticate my age? Or is this simply CYA on your part? “She lied about her age so we are not responsible."
    Pure CYA. I plan to enter a fake date. My BD? April 15, 1905. That sound good FB?
    Reminds me of when I had a FB account with all fake data, name, BD, address, etc. One day they made a big deal of how they would start requiring real names for safety and security, and would notify anyone using a fake name. But they never called me for using Imma Actor as my name. 
    It’s all show.
    pulseimagesGG1applguybeowulfschmidtwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 17
    JapheyJaphey Posts: 929member
    DAalseth said:
    lkrupp said:
    Oh really? Okay, I’m 13 but I’ll enter my birth date so I’m 18 on your site. How to you plan to authenticate my age? Or is this simply CYA on your part? “She lied about her age so we are not responsible."
    Pure CYA. I plan to enter a fake date. My BD? April 15, 1905. That sound good FB?
    Reminds me of when I had a FB account with all fake data, name, BD, address, etc. One day they made a big deal of how they would start requiring real names for safety and security, and would notify anyone using a fake name. But they never called me for using Imma Actor as my name. 
    It’s all show.
    I had a ghost account for FB too, back the day. I used it whenever certain apps or websites required one in order to register and use them. Like you, I was never contacted by FB, at all, when they made a big thing out of their new security protocols. I expect these new Insta measures will be more of the same…nothing but hot air. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 17
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 5,827member
    Japhey said:
    DAalseth said:
    lkrupp said:
    Oh really? Okay, I’m 13 but I’ll enter my birth date so I’m 18 on your site. How to you plan to authenticate my age? Or is this simply CYA on your part? “She lied about her age so we are not responsible."
    Pure CYA. I plan to enter a fake date. My BD? April 15, 1905. That sound good FB?
    Reminds me of when I had a FB account with all fake data, name, BD, address, etc. One day they made a big deal of how they would start requiring real names for safety and security, and would notify anyone using a fake name. But they never called me for using Imma Actor as my name. 
    It’s all show.
    I had a ghost account for FB too, back the day. I used it whenever certain apps or websites required one in order to register and use them. Like you, I was never contacted by FB, at all, when they made a big thing out of their new security protocols. I expect these new Insta measures will be more of the same…nothing but hot air. 
    They have three billion active users between those two services alone. Millions of reports of threats and violence and porn and nazis and misinformation and scams. But yeah, they’re really concerned about your sockpuppet account and are going to personally contact you about it. 
    ronnwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 17
    I wouldn't call my user name "fake" but definitely a persona. Even have a Yahoo email address. Are they going to insist "Charlie Sheen" use "Charles Estevez"? Or fake name filtering? Met someone at SiliCon whose name is Peter Parker. Better yet is Rear Admiral James A. Kirk, USN, now commanding CSG 15 (Call Sign Tiberius)!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 17
    zeus423zeus423 Posts: 125member
    I'm sure everyone will be completely honest about their birthday. Oh wait, I have birthdays all year long so I get freebies from restaurants at different times throughout the year. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 17
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 5,827member
    zeus423 said:
    I'm sure everyone will be completely honest about their birthday. Oh wait, I have birthdays all year long so I get freebies from restaurants at different times throughout the year. 
    Congrats on being a garbage person.
    elijahgronnchemengin1watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 17
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 5,827member
    DAalseth said:
    lkrupp said:
    Oh really? Okay, I’m 13 but I’ll enter my birth date so I’m 18 on your site. How to you plan to authenticate my age? Or is this simply CYA on your part? “She lied about her age so we are not responsible."
    Pure CYA. I plan to enter a fake date. My BD? April 15, 1905. That sound good FB?
    Reminds me of when I had a FB account with all fake data, name, BD, address, etc. One day they made a big deal of how they would start requiring real names for safety and security, and would notify anyone using a fake name. But they never called me for using Imma Actor as my name. 
    It’s all show.
    They wouldn't care if you made yourself 120 years old, because this is purely to identify minors on the system for the purposes stated. They don't give a fuck if adults change their age to another adult age.

    Also, you guys are ignoring this aspect:

    "In case an incorrect birthday is given, Instagram is also working on AI to estimate the age of users, based on post content like "Happy Birthday" posts. In theory, the in-development system will identify if a user has added an older age than they really are, which could trigger verification systems to correct the age. "
    ronnchemengin1watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 17
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 1,772member
    Japhey said:
    DAalseth said:
    lkrupp said:
    Oh really? Okay, I’m 13 but I’ll enter my birth date so I’m 18 on your site. How to you plan to authenticate my age? Or is this simply CYA on your part? “She lied about her age so we are not responsible."
    Pure CYA. I plan to enter a fake date. My BD? April 15, 1905. That sound good FB?
    Reminds me of when I had a FB account with all fake data, name, BD, address, etc. One day they made a big deal of how they would start requiring real names for safety and security, and would notify anyone using a fake name. But they never called me for using Imma Actor as my name. 
    It’s all show.
    I had a ghost account for FB too, back the day. I used it whenever certain apps or websites required one in order to register and use them. Like you, I was never contacted by FB, at all, when they made a big thing out of their new security protocols. I expect these new Insta measures will be more of the same…nothing but hot air. 
    They have three billion active users between those two services alone. Millions of reports of threats and violence and porn and nazis and misinformation and scams. But yeah, they’re really concerned about your sockpuppet account and are going to personally contact you about it. 
    That’s exactly the point though. They make a big show of it, with authoritative announcement saying things about security and protecting the children. In reality it’s total BS and everyone knows it. 

    fastasleep said:.
    "In case an incorrect birthday is given, Instagram is also working on AI to estimate the age of users, based on post content like "Happy Birthday" posts. In theory, the in-development system will identify if a user has added an older age than they really are, which could trigger verification systems to correct the age. "
    They could, but dollars to donuts they won’t actually do anything. It might interrupt the revenue stream. 
    edited August 30 elijahgbeowulfschmidtwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 17
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,747member
    fastasleep said:
    Also, you guys are ignoring this aspect:

    "In case an incorrect birthday is given, Instagram is also working on AI to estimate the age of users, based on post content like "Happy Birthday" posts. In theory, the in-development system will identify if a user has added an older age than they really are, which could trigger verification systems to correct the age. "
    That's about as good as the one I heard today about a lady's PhD paper using 'AI' to analyze podcasts and determine 10% of the content is misinformation. Yeah, I have this bridge for sale, too. That lady should be heading up Elon's self-driving car program, I think. 'AI' is mostly BS.

    Yet, they are surprisingly good at flagging content that doesn't match the narrative, factual or misinformation.
  • Reply 11 of 17
    JapheyJaphey Posts: 929member
    Japhey said:
    DAalseth said:
    lkrupp said:
    Oh really? Okay, I’m 13 but I’ll enter my birth date so I’m 18 on your site. How to you plan to authenticate my age? Or is this simply CYA on your part? “She lied about her age so we are not responsible."
    Pure CYA. I plan to enter a fake date. My BD? April 15, 1905. That sound good FB?
    Reminds me of when I had a FB account with all fake data, name, BD, address, etc. One day they made a big deal of how they would start requiring real names for safety and security, and would notify anyone using a fake name. But they never called me for using Imma Actor as my name. 
    It’s all show.
    I had a ghost account for FB too, back the day. I used it whenever certain apps or websites required one in order to register and use them. Like you, I was never contacted by FB, at all, when they made a big thing out of their new security protocols. I expect these new Insta measures will be more of the same…nothing but hot air. 
    They have three billion active users between those two services alone. Millions of reports of threats and violence and porn and nazis and misinformation and scams. But yeah, they’re really concerned about your sockpuppet account and are going to personally contact you about it. 
    Uh, they said they were going to crack down on fake accounts by contacting them or canceling them. I was just making a comment of my personal experience. I’m not sure why you needed to be such an asshole about it. Sorry you’re having a bad day…
    applguyelijahgwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 17
    DAalseth said:
    lkrupp said:
    Oh really? Okay, I’m 13 but I’ll enter my birth date so I’m 18 on your site. How to you plan to authenticate my age? Or is this simply CYA on your part? “She lied about her age so we are not responsible."
    Pure CYA. I plan to enter a fake date. My BD? April 15, 1905. That sound good FB?
    Reminds me of when I had a FB account with all fake data, name, BD, address, etc. One day they made a big deal of how they would start requiring real names for safety and security, and would notify anyone using a fake name. But they never called me for using Imma Actor as my name. 
    It’s all show.
    I have four separate "alternate" facebooks, only one of which sports my real name, two of which have obviously fake names.  When they announced they were going to do that, I even had documentation ready should they decide to challenge the one I actually cared about.

    Never a peep out of them.
    watto_cobracgWerks
  • Reply 13 of 17
    DAalseth said:
    lkrupp said:
    Oh really? Okay, I’m 13 but I’ll enter my birth date so I’m 18 on your site. How to you plan to authenticate my age? Or is this simply CYA on your part? “She lied about her age so we are not responsible."
    Pure CYA. I plan to enter a fake date. My BD? April 15, 1905. That sound good FB?
    Reminds me of when I had a FB account with all fake data, name, BD, address, etc. One day they made a big deal of how they would start requiring real names for safety and security, and would notify anyone using a fake name. But they never called me for using Imma Actor as my name. 
    It’s all show.
    They wouldn't care if you made yourself 120 years old, because this is purely to identify minors on the system for the purposes stated. They don't give a fuck if adults change their age to another adult age.

    Also, you guys are ignoring this aspect:

    "In case an incorrect birthday is given, Instagram is also working on AI to estimate the age of users, based on post content like "Happy Birthday" posts. In theory, the in-development system will identify if a user has added an older age than they really are, which could trigger verification systems to correct the age. "
    So, based on the Happy Birthday post metric, if I created an account today with a birthday that places me at 20 years old, how would they accurately identify that date is not my birthday?  I would have no history of birthdays.  Now if all the people I may have “friended” or converse with on the platform don’t know who I am in real life?  If all the details are fake, and no one calls it out in messages because they don’t know the real me, I see know way for them to know based on that metric because any future posts will be incorrect too.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 17
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 5,827member
    DAalseth said:
    Japhey said:
    DAalseth said:
    lkrupp said:
    Oh really? Okay, I’m 13 but I’ll enter my birth date so I’m 18 on your site. How to you plan to authenticate my age? Or is this simply CYA on your part? “She lied about her age so we are not responsible."
    Pure CYA. I plan to enter a fake date. My BD? April 15, 1905. That sound good FB?
    Reminds me of when I had a FB account with all fake data, name, BD, address, etc. One day they made a big deal of how they would start requiring real names for safety and security, and would notify anyone using a fake name. But they never called me for using Imma Actor as my name. 
    It’s all show.
    I had a ghost account for FB too, back the day. I used it whenever certain apps or websites required one in order to register and use them. Like you, I was never contacted by FB, at all, when they made a big thing out of their new security protocols. I expect these new Insta measures will be more of the same…nothing but hot air. 
    They have three billion active users between those two services alone. Millions of reports of threats and violence and porn and nazis and misinformation and scams. But yeah, they’re really concerned about your sockpuppet account and are going to personally contact you about it. 
    That’s exactly the point though. They make a big show of it, with authoritative announcement saying things about security and protecting the children. In reality it’s total BS and everyone knows it. 

    fastasleep said:.
    "In case an incorrect birthday is given, Instagram is also working on AI to estimate the age of users, based on post content like "Happy Birthday" posts. In theory, the in-development system will identify if a user has added an older age than they really are, which could trigger verification systems to correct the age. "
    They could, but dollars to donuts they won’t actually do anything. It might interrupt the revenue stream. 
    It’s a policy. Of course there’s ways around it, and of course they don’t have the resources to strictly enforce it. Same with checking IDs at bars. It of course is to give them cover when regulators are looking very strongly at children and technology right now. 
    watto_cobracgWerks
  • Reply 15 of 17
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 5,827member
    Japhey said:
    Japhey said:
    DAalseth said:
    lkrupp said:
    Oh really? Okay, I’m 13 but I’ll enter my birth date so I’m 18 on your site. How to you plan to authenticate my age? Or is this simply CYA on your part? “She lied about her age so we are not responsible."
    Pure CYA. I plan to enter a fake date. My BD? April 15, 1905. That sound good FB?
    Reminds me of when I had a FB account with all fake data, name, BD, address, etc. One day they made a big deal of how they would start requiring real names for safety and security, and would notify anyone using a fake name. But they never called me for using Imma Actor as my name. 
    It’s all show.
    I had a ghost account for FB too, back the day. I used it whenever certain apps or websites required one in order to register and use them. Like you, I was never contacted by FB, at all, when they made a big thing out of their new security protocols. I expect these new Insta measures will be more of the same…nothing but hot air. 
    They have three billion active users between those two services alone. Millions of reports of threats and violence and porn and nazis and misinformation and scams. But yeah, they’re really concerned about your sockpuppet account and are going to personally contact you about it. 
    Uh, they said they were going to crack down on fake accounts by contacting them or canceling them. I was just making a comment of my personal experience. I’m not sure why you needed to be such an asshole about it. Sorry you’re having a bad day…
    Relax, I was just making a comment on the futility of trying to enforce such a policy in the face of far more massive moderation concerns. Regulating screen names was a fool’s errand and they quickly backed off. 
    beowulfschmidtwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 17
    JapheyJaphey Posts: 929member
    Japhey said:
    Japhey said:
    DAalseth said:
    lkrupp said:
    Oh really? Okay, I’m 13 but I’ll enter my birth date so I’m 18 on your site. How to you plan to authenticate my age? Or is this simply CYA on your part? “She lied about her age so we are not responsible."
    Pure CYA. I plan to enter a fake date. My BD? April 15, 1905. That sound good FB?
    Reminds me of when I had a FB account with all fake data, name, BD, address, etc. One day they made a big deal of how they would start requiring real names for safety and security, and would notify anyone using a fake name. But they never called me for using Imma Actor as my name. 
    It’s all show.
    I had a ghost account for FB too, back the day. I used it whenever certain apps or websites required one in order to register and use them. Like you, I was never contacted by FB, at all, when they made a big thing out of their new security protocols. I expect these new Insta measures will be more of the same…nothing but hot air. 
    They have three billion active users between those two services alone. Millions of reports of threats and violence and porn and nazis and misinformation and scams. But yeah, they’re really concerned about your sockpuppet account and are going to personally contact you about it. 
    Uh, they said they were going to crack down on fake accounts by contacting them or canceling them. I was just making a comment of my personal experience. I’m not sure why you needed to be such an asshole about it. Sorry you’re having a bad day…
    Relax, I was just making a comment on the futility of trying to enforce such a policy in the face of far more massive moderation concerns. Regulating screen names was a fool’s errand and they quickly backed off. 
    Yeah, sorry. I may have overreacted there. I’ve just gotten so used to some people on here being uber aggressive and borderline bullying to others that don’t think the same way they do. Apologies. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 17
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,747member
    exceptionhandler said:
    So, based on the Happy Birthday post metric, if I created an account today with a birthday that places me at 20 years old, how would they accurately identify that date is not my birthday?  I would have no history of birthdays.  Now if all the people I may have “friended” or converse with on the platform don’t know who I am in real life?  If all the details are fake, and no one calls it out in messages because they don’t know the real me, I see know way for them to know based on that metric because any future posts will be incorrect too.
    Well, it probably isn't so much a matter of possible, but if they want to do it (vs a publicity stunt). If they really combine all the data they have, I'm sure they could easily know you are you you say or not and how old you are... and probably a good guess at what's in your fridge and the last time you were late on a utility payment.
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