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Instagram Does Little To Prevent Under-13 Users From Registering on the Platformby@legalpdf
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Instagram Does Little To Prevent Under-13 Users From Registering on the Platform

by Legal PDFNovember 9th, 2023
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Instagram is facing an FTC investigation over allegations that its registration process allows users under the age of 13 to sign up by relying on self-reported ages. The FTC claims that Meta has chosen not to implement more effective age verification methods, thus potentially violating COPPA regulations. This, in turn, raises questions about the platform's true approach to children's privacy, contrasting with public statements made by Meta's leadership.
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The United States v Meta Platforms Court Filing October 24, 2023 is part of HackerNoon’s Legal PDF Series. You can jump to any part in this filing here. This is part 34 of 100.

c. Meta’s design of the Instagram registration process allows children under 13 to use Instagram.

767. As set forth in detail above, Instagram first utilized no age gate for several years, then implemented an age gate that defaulted to a user age of 13 or above, then implemented an age gate that depends on children to self-report their own age. Meta is aware that because of these intentional design choices, under-13 users routinely supply a false date of birth when registering for Instagram.


768. Meta has access to, and chooses not to use, alternative feasible age verification methods that would significantly reduce or eliminate the number of underage users on Meta’s Social Media Platforms, for example, by requiring young users to submit student IDs upon registration.


769. Instagram’s decision not to use effective age verification that would exclude under-13 users is one way that it effectively targets and welcomes under-13 users onto the Platform.


770. Because Meta does not effectively exclude users under the age of 13 from Instagram, Meta’s external narrative regarding its COPPA compliance and age verification is misleading, including inaccurate public statements by Zuckerberg himself. [Redacted]



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This court case 4:23-cv-05448 retrieved on October 25, 2023, from Washingtonpost.com is part of the public domain. The court-created documents are works of the federal government, and under copyright law, are automatically placed in the public domain and may be shared without legal restriction.


Lead image by Sara Kurfeß on Unsplash