Instagram users will be required to enter birthdate to log-in as part of new child safety measures

Thursday, 2nd September 2021, 11:12 am
Instagram users will be required to enter their birth date to log in (Shutterstock)

Instagram users will be required to enter their birth date to log in as part of the app’s new child safety measures.

Users will be able to dismiss the request initially, although any content marked as sensitive and potentially unsuitable for under-18s will be blurred by Instagram.

How the new measures will work

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Instagram will require all users to enter their birthdate to log in. The initiative is part of the app’s new child safety measures, and will also affect those who weren’t asked to give a date if they joined before 2019.

The new prompt arrives after Instagram started to default new accounts belonging to people who give their age as under 16 into a private setting. 

The company has also restricted the ability for advertisers to target under-18s.

The measures are being introduced ahead of the UK’s Age Appropriate Design Code enforcement on 2 September. 

The code, which is regulated by the Information Commissioner’s Office, "is a set of 15 flexible standards" designed to make children safe online, focusing on minimising the data that they share with companies and strangers.

Users who initially dismiss the birthdate request will have content marked as sensitive and potentially unsuitable for under-18s blurred. 

‘Verifying people’s age online is complex’

Facebook, who own the photo sharing app, have admitted faults in their previous attempts at anti-grooming measures. 

The social media platform prevented adult users from sending direct messages to teenagers unless they followed them, however the company based its ability to identify children on the age they were providing themselves.

They later acknowledged, "young people can lie about their date of birth,” adding: "We want to do more to stop this from happening, but verifying people’s age online is complex and something many in our industry are grappling with."

"To address this challenge, we’re developing new artificial intelligence and machine learning technology to help us keep teens safer and apply new age-appropriate features."

A version of this article originally appeared on NationalWorld.com