IF you have been on the popular social media app Instagram recently, a message asking for your birthday might have appeared.
For the unlucky among you an error may have caused this to pop up repeatedly every time you open the app but why is Instagram asking for your birthday?
Why is Instagram asking for my birthday?
When initially setting up your account, Instagram will ask for your date of birth to verify that you are old enough to use the site.
This is not just for private accounts either – business and pet accounts also need a birthday to allow you to create them.
Occasionally when apps update along with new features, glitches can occur and Instagram is no different.
A recurring update glitch for the app forces users to put their birthday in when opening the app – this happens repeatedly every time Instagram is used.
This error message usually reads: “Before you can continue using Instagram, you need to provide your birthday, even if this account is for something like a business or a pet”.
In some cases, users have also found their account blocked after putting in their birth data as the app glitches further.
Normally, this error will be resolved shortly after appearing and will not affect your Instagram usage in the long run.
What is the Instagram age restriction?
Instagram has a few age-related features that help keep children safe on the app – the first being an age restriction.
You must be over 13 to set up an Instagram account, this is to stop very young children from accessing the site.
When an account is started by someone under 16 years old, the profile is automatically private.
This prevents anyone who doesn’t follow you from seeing your images and lets the user control who can and cannot follow them.
On top of this, Instagram blocks adults from messaging teens who they do not follow.
While the machine learning technology already filters out possibly harmful messages from the main direct message inbox, this system notifies the adult that they cannot send a message to the teen.
All of this works to keep children safer online but relies on the birthday entered to be correct.
What to do if your Instagram account is blocked
It is against the Instagram usage rules to withhold your date of birth so if you ignore the popup you may find yourself banned.
Most Instagram bans only last around 24 hours so if you’re not fussed about checking how many likes your latest picture has then just wait it out.
For the less patient out there, you can also delete and reinstall the app to try and clear the cache, allowing you to back onto the app.
This tends to work for people booted out of the app due to an error, deleting and redownloading can work wonders for all apps facing temporary glitches.
There are five major reasons you might get banned from Instagram – breaking the law, violating intellectual property rights, posting harmful or hateful content, bot accounts, and using banned hashtags.
This includes what the AI perceives as nudity – even on your Close Friends stories.
In cases where the ban is due to something you have done or Instagram thinks you have broken the rules there is an appeal route.
Log in to Instagram as normal and follow the instructions on the screen, this will take you through the appeal process and most likely get you back watching reels in no time.
Avoid doing anything against the site’s usage rules and you should be safe to scroll without worry.
If you’re seeing the ban or glitch as a lucky escape, you can always deactivate your Instagram account.
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