In short: Like other social networks, Instagram continues to grapple with the problem of people under 13 joining the platform. So the Meta-owned company is testing a less traditional solution: age-estimating AI that scans faces.

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Instagram didn’t start asking new users to enter their date of birth until 2019, and it only asks for age verification when teens try to change their date of birth to show they’re 18 or older. This is partly why 40% of children under the age of 13 use the site and other social networks. study last year.

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Instagram’s current way of doing age verification is by asking users to submit identification photos such as a driver’s license or birth certificate. But now it’s being tested two additional methods: Social proof and age proof with video selfie.

The surety method requires three mutual followers to verify a person’s age. They must also be over 18, not vouch for anyone else at the time, and comply with other security measures Instagram has in place.

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The video selfie method is interesting. Once someone uploads their clip, Meta shares it with third-party company Yoti, which uses machine learning trained on “hundreds of thousands” of photos to estimate a person’s age.

The words “meta” and “data sharing” don’t conjure up the best-case scenarios, but Facebook’s parent company insists that Yoti’s technology can’t recognize individuals and that both it and Yoti delete all information from their servers once the process is complete. You can try here if you want to be flattered/terrible.

The accuracy of Yoti technology varies based on factors such as age range, skin tone, and gender – women with darker skin are less accurate (+/- 3.47 years). The company said its system is 98.91% accurate in identifying people aged 6 to 11 as under 13 (no mention of 12-year-olds) and is 99% accurate in determining whether people aged 18 are older or younger. 25 years. , which wouldn’t make much sense in this situation anyway.