Facebook’s hands-off approach to its age policy is being drastically overhauled after a report by Channel 4 revealed internal practices that were supposedly letting children under the age of 13 use the social network.
In the past, underage users would only be removed from the site if another person flagged them as being potentially under the age of 13.
Now though, Facebook has said that it will start actively enforcing its age policy.
Going forward the site’s content reviewers will not just look for manual reports of underage users but will also actively examine all the flagged comment for someone who might be underage.
If the content reviewer believes they have just cause to doubt the person’s age the account will be locked and a message will be sent asking for proof of ID.
While Facebook hasn’t confirmed any specifics on this, TechCrunch claims that any form of government issued ID will suffice whether that’s a passport or driving licence.
A scanned version of that ID will then need to be sent to the content review team for confirmation.
In a blog post responding to Channel 4′s report Monika Bickert, Vice President of Global Policy Management said: “It has been suggested that turning a blind eye to bad content is in our commercial interests. This is not true.”
“Creating a safe environment where people from all over the world can share and connect is core to Facebook’s long-term success. If our services aren’t safe, people won’t share and over time would stop using them. Nor do advertisers want their brands associated with disturbing or problematic content.”
While Facebook hasn’t officially confirmed this, TechCrunch believes that the new policy will also include Instagram which also has a minimum age requirement of 13.
Despite these concerns, a report earlier this year actually suggested that less young people are using the social network.
Instead it’s believed that younger generations are turning to apps like Snapchat and Instagram while older generations are actually starting to adopt Facebook as a means of staying in touch with old friends and family.