Facebook Announces Plans to Check Age of Users


Facebook: This Tuesday (27), Facebook announced, in a post on its blog, the plans of the social network and Instagram to control user accounts under the minimum age allowed. In addition to age-determining artificial intelligence (AI), the company said it is shifting the experience offered to youth accounts.

The company says it has developed a technology that allows it to create estimates of the ages of consumers. The initiative looks at factors such as the content of happy birthday messages, for example.

Facebook hasn’t gone into details about the type of information the AI ​​processes and reports that it’s “not yet perfect,” so it will continue to develop and will function as just one element within the age-marking criteria.

The new feature also takes the age provided during registration and applies it to other apps and services connected to a Facebook account.

The technology is being used in an Instagram system, announced in March, that prevents adults from sending private messages to minors’ accounts.

Private Profiles on Instagram

Also on Tuesday, another post on the company’s website reported that Instagram is setting private profiles as the default for all users under 16 — or 18 in some countries.

The change will allow the owner to control who sees and responds to posts. Also, other users will have to follow the account in question to see Stories or Reels, for example.

Consumers who already have a public account will receive notification with benefits and guidelines for the change.

Less advertisements for teenagers

Changes were also made to the policy on displaying advertisements for young people. In the coming weeks, ads will not be able to target audiences under 18 years of age. This means that criteria for targeting marketing, such as interests or activity on other apps or websites, will no longer be available to advertisers.

After reaching 18 years of age, a notification will be sent to the user, explaining the data used to provide advertising, along with the tools to control the display of this type of content.

Avoiding unwanted contact

The company said a new system will identify accounts with a potential for “suspicious behavior” — such as adults that have been blocked or reported by young people.

People with this “tag” will not be able to see teen profiles in the “Explore”, “Reels” or “Accounts Suggested for You” window. Direct interaction will also be limited, and the user will not be able to follow, comment or even see comments on youth posts.

New experience for children under 13

The company says it intends to create an appropriate experience for Facebook and Instagram, controlled by guardians or parents. More details on this release have not been provided, but the brand says it is determined to do it “the right way”.

Finally, the post reveals that it is expanding the “Youth Advisors” group, created in 2017, which provides feedback on the development of new products and policies for youth groups. With the expansion, the team will include experts in privacy, psychology, parent and child media, and youth development.


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