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Meta to call for age verification to be implemented

Meta will call for age verification to be implemented across Europe at an Oireachtas committee hearing today.

In its opening statement to the Oireachtas Committee on Children, the social media company will say that it believes that a “significant step forward can be taken at European level to ensure that parents only need to verify the age of their child once”.

Meta has suggested that the most effective way for this to work would be to implement a verification process at an operating system or app store level.

The company will tell politicians later today that in the United States the average teenager uses 44 applications on their phone.

Meta’s head of public policy Dualta Ó Broin will say that the “time has come to move forward with an effective solution that addresses the concerns of all stakeholders including parents”.

Meta and TikTok were invited to appear before TDs and senators on the Oireachtas Committee on Children to discuss the protection of children in the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI).

According to Meta, AI systems are being used to remove material deemed to fall under the categories of bullying and harassment on Facebook.

However, Meta will say that “one of the reasons that AI is not as effective in this harm area yet is that bullying and harassment can be quite contextual – and not as immediately apparent as a fake account”.

Separately, in its opening statement TikTok said that AI along with “human oversight and judgement” is being used to “spot and stop threats”.

In relation to content creation, it said that its policy “requires people to label AI-generated content that contains realistic images, audio or video”.

The social media site is currently in the process of “testing the automatic labelling of AI-generated content”.

Ahead of today’s hearing, committee chair Kathleen Funchion said politicians wanted to hear from those attending “how they feel their plans and actions regarding safety for children using their platforms are implemented and more importantly how these safety mechanisms can be strengthened to continue the common goal of protecting our young people”.

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