Tech platforms struggle to verify their users age

News Summary

  • Younger users also cannot change their birthdays.YouTube: Google users are required to provide their date of birth when creating an account; 13 is the minimum age and users under 18 get certain privacy protections by default, per Google spokesperson Christa Muldoon.
  • Snapchat's terms of service state users must be 13 and older, and the app is in the process of updating its sign-in process to make it more difficult for users under 13 to make accounts, per a company spokesperson.
  • On YouTube, that means disabled autoplay and "bedtime" and "break" reminders set by default, among other restrictions.TikTok: The popular video-sharing app has a "neutral, industry-standard age gate," allowing users to enter birthdays, a spokesperson said.
  • The bottom line: There are no agreed-upon guidelines for accuracy or protecting civil rights in gauging ages of online users.
  • The app also just expanded time limits for users under 18.
  • Meta has been testing age verification tools on Instagram and Facebook Dating, announcing an expansion of the Instagram test to more countries last week.
Social media and streaming platforms are trying to figure out the best ways to verify a users age as parents and lawmakers grow increasingly concerned about the way children and teenagers use online [+5473 chars]