Meta has expanded its measures for the protection of underage
users on Facebook Dating in the US. This means that users aged under 18 years will
not be allowed to sign up for and access Facebook Dating.
This age verification tool, however, is not a regular one. It
is powered by digital identity company Yoti, with whom Meta has been working
since June of this year. Yoti’s systems are equipped with training on a large amount
of global data of anonymous images belonging to a diverse range of people. As a
result, the company can almost accurately determine the ages of people using video
According to Meta, it will launch the tool across its apps including Facebook, Instagram and Facebook Dating. During the test of the tool on Instagram, Meta discovered that about four times as many people were more likely to complete its age verification requirements as their attempts to edit their age from under 18 to over 18. This equated to “hundreds of thousands of people being placed in experiences appropriate for their age.”
Additionally, users will also have the option to submit an ID form
that verifies their age instead of submitting a video selfie, which Meta ensures will be encrypted and stored safely
to maintain privacy. The form will not be visible on users’ Facebook profiles
or to other users on the app. “Once your age has been verified, you can manage
how long your ID is saved for,” explains Meta.
The potential harm against underage users has been getting
more concerning with time, as a recent report published by Bloomberg confirms –
the consequences of dangerous interactions on social media among underage
people have been as extreme as resulting in deaths of many of these people. It is,
therefore, a relief to see platforms like Meta making efforts to improve their security
systems, hence ensuring prevention of such experiences.