Facebook and Instagram to Suspend Users Below Age of 13

Registering for an account on Facebook and Instagram is easy. The companies are quite lenient about who gets in, and this includes lax minimum age screening. However, it looks like this may be changing soon as the apps increase their net over children who try to sign up.

Facebook and Instagram will set out to lock the accounts of any users younger than 13-years old. Additionally, they will require the users to provide proof that they’re over 13, such as a government-issued photo ID, to regain access.

Facebook has always prohibited users under 13, to comply with the U.S. Child Online Privacy Protection Act. However, action of suspending them was never quite heavily-enforced. A spokesperson states that Facebook isn’t going to start a broad sweep of its site. However, any underage users it comes across will immediately get their accounts suspended. It’s a messy cleanup that’s resulted from not requiring proof of age before signing up.

This change is one of many to come in light of controversies such as the Cambridge Analytica scandal, interference in Russia’s 2016 election, screen addiction, and fake news. Some other policies Facebook is in the midst of implementing include crackdowns on misinformation that could lead to physical harm.

Whether Facebook can truly cultivate a safe online environment for others remains to be seen. However, the string of controversies in the past has forced the company into action. We’ve had better transparency and are now due for improved protection from malicious content.

(Source: TechCrunch)

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