Several Swedish bloggers and media report that Instagram users under the age of 13 have had their accounts closed or frozen the last few days. In some cases, users are required by Instagram to provide their age, in other cases they have to prove their age with identification documents. These incidents are occuring at the same time as Instagram’s new User Agreement entered into force, which harmonized with Facebook’s agreement. My own children confirm that this is actually happening right now.
Users that Instagram suspect are under 13 have had their accounts locked and are sent a message that says they are required to send in an image of and ID such as a passport or a school ID (which is unusual in Sweden) to prove their age. Some are also finding that their Facebook accounts are also locked and according to Deeped Niclas Strandh, there are signs that some are locked out of their Facebook accounts, but that the accounts are still live. This means that others could comment on their walls and posts but they are unable to respond themselves.
“My daughter’s Instagram account was locked and got this message, says Björn Sveen to SVT. She is 12 years and 9 months so she can not just send in a picture of her passport to prove that she’s 13, not that I would let her send it a picture with such sensitive information.”
Screen shots of the messages from Instagram and Facebook can be found both on svt.se and Deeped Niclas Strand, see links above.
I have not seen any similar reports outside of Sweden. Do you know of any more cases?
Flickr image via wiccked.