FILE - Facebook moderators have begun locking the accounts of any underage user that they find even if they were reported for something else such as offensive content as part of their operational change to its policy. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

Durban - Facebook and Instagram are proactively suspending the accounts underage people using their network and are demanding that people prove they are over 13.

According to TechCrunch, Facebook moderators have begun locking the accounts of any underage user that they find even if they were reported for something else such as offensive content as part of their operational change to its policy.

In the past, Facebook had a policy of simply investigating accounts that were reported to belong to someone who is underage.

To unlock the accounts, those users may have to provide proof that they are above age 13.

Facebook will require the users to provide proof that they’re over 13, such a government-issued photo ID, to regain access. 

The problem stems from Facebook not requiring any proof of age upon signup.

“We do not allow people under 13 to have a Facebook account. If someone is reported to us as being under 13, the reviewer will look at the content on their profile (text and photos) to try to ascertain their age,” said Facebook in a blog post. “If they believe the person is under 13, the account will be put on a hold and the person will not be able to use Facebook until they provide proof of their age. Since the program, we have been working to update the guidance for reviewers to put a hold on any account they encounter if they have a strong indication it is underage, even if the report was for something else.”

This change was implemented after a UK documentary showed that Facebook reviewers were instructed to essentially only takedown accounts if a user admits to their age otherwise they were told to look the other way.

Daily News