We’re committed to making sure people have age-appropriate experiences across our technologies, and as part of this work, we’ve been testing age verification tools and using age detection technology to stop people under the age of 18 from accessing experiences meant for adults.
Starting today, we’re expanding our age verification test to Facebook Dating in the US. We require people to be at least 18 years old in order to sign up for and access Facebook Dating, and age verification tools will help verify that only adults are using the service and help prevent minors from accessing it. We’re also continuing our partnership with Yoti, a company that specializes in online age verification, so that people have more than one option to choose from to verify their age.
How Age Verification on Facebook Dating Works
We want to make sure people are placed in experiences that are appropriate for their ages, so we use technology to understand where people have misrepresented how old they are. That’s why we’ve invested in age detection technology to find potential discrepancies in the ages people provide us and the age we think they may be based on our technology. If we detect someone may be under the age of 18 and trying to use Facebook Dating, we will prompt them to verify their age. They will have two options to choose from:
- Video Selfie: If you choose this option, you’ll see instructions on your screen to guide you through the process. After you take a video selfie, we share a still image from the video with Yoti and nothing else. Yoti’s technology estimates your age based on your facial features, shares that estimate with us and the image is then deleted immediately. The technology cannot recognize your identity — just your age.
- ID Upload: You can also choose to upload a form of identification to verify your age. After you upload a copy of your ID, it’ll be encrypted and stored securely, and won’t be visible on your Facebook profile or to other people on the app. Once your age has been verified, you can manage how long your ID is saved for.
Our Approach to Age Verification
Providing people with more than one option to verify their age allows them to select a method that best fits their needs and preferences. For example, many people don’t always have access to the forms of ID that make verifying age clear.
Our age verification tests show that our tools are working to help keep people within age-appropriate experiences. Since we began testing new age verification tools on Instagram in June, we’ve found that approximately four times as many people were more likely to complete our age verification requirements (when attempting to edit their date of birth from under 18 to over 18), equating to hundreds of thousands of people being placed in experiences appropriate for their age. We also were able to stop 96% of the teens who attempted to edit their birthdays from under 18 to 18 or over on Instagram from doing so. And we have found that 81% of people presented with our menu of options chose to use Yoti’s video selfie to verify their age.
As we learn more, we plan to bring our age detection technology and verification tools to other countries globally where Facebook Dating is available, and to more experiences that require people to be over 18 to access them.