Instagram wants to guess the age of its users in order to limit adult-child interaction on social media

Instagram is changing the rules by restricting adult and minor interactions on the platform. The aim is to increase the security of the app for the little ones.

With the changes announced this Tuesday, Instagram, which accepts users aged 13 and over, will no longer allow adults to send messages to young people who do not follow them. In return, young people are warned before they send messages to adults with “suspicious behavior”. This includes, for example, users who send a lot of messages to or attempt to send minors.

However, the application realizes that there are many users out there who lie about age. The solution is to create algorithms that can determine the true age of users. “Although many people are honest about their age, we know that young people can lie,” the team wrote in a statement on the changes. “To meet this challenge, we are developing new ones [sistemas] Artificial intelligence to help young people stay safe and apply new age-appropriate features. “

The Instagram team (owned by Facebook) contacted by PÚBLICO does not add any details about the technology. However, it is very common for online businesses to estimate a person’s age, tastes, and location based on online activity. This is usually done via cookies – also known as trackers -, small files in which information such as the online behavior of the user is recorded in order to display personalized advertisements. It’s something that Facebook and Instagram themselves have been doing for a long time.

The changes to Instagram took effect this Monday. The team says they should “soon” be available worldwide. The youngest will also receive notifications from Instagram advising caution when “sharing photos, videos or information with strangers” and information about the benefits of having a private account.

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