Instagram is done acting dumb about users’ ages.
After nine years, Instagram is eventually adopting more responsibility to preserve underage kids from problems with social media.
It will directly ask new users to enter their birth date and ban users younger than 13 from registering.
Though, it will not be asking current users their age so that Instagram will turn a blind eye to every underage kid previously amongst its 1 billion members.
The Use of Knowing The Age of A User
Instagram will next start using age info to give knowledge about settings and different privacy controls for younger users.
It is further adding the choice only to enable people you follow to message you, unite you to a group, or respond to your Story.
Instagram had slipped far behind in preserving underage users.
It is relied on the ignorance of users’ ages to bypass a $40,000 fine per breach of the Child Online Privacy Protection Act that forbids services from getting private info from children younger than 13. “
Instagram said that asking for this data will help stop underage people from joining Instagram.
Plus, it will help them keep young people safer and allow more age-appropriate experiences overall.
Instagram’s Competition One Step Ahead
Facebook, Snapchat, and TikTok already ask users to insert their birth date as soon as they begin the signup process.
TikTok created a completely separate section of its app where children can see videos but not post or comment after it was penalized $5.7 million by the FTC for disrupting COPPA.
As for why it took so much time, an Instagram spokesperson says that historically, they didn’t need people to tell them their age because they wanted Instagram to be a space where everyone can show themselves fully, irrespective of their personality.
However, that looks like a rather thin excuse.
It should think about how it can do more to confirm the ages users register and keep out those who do not belong shown to strangers over the app.
Going in line with industry norms is achieving minimum viable responsibility.
But an app so intriguing to younger users and that deals in such delicate data should be heading on safety, not only following the herd.
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