Instagram targets fake accounts, likes and comments

The social media site said it is using machine learning to spot fake likes, comments and accounts that fuel ‘inauthentic activity' on the platform.

Instagram has announced a new crackdown on fake likes, comments and follows on the platform as it looks to cut “inauthentic activity”.

The photo-sharing site, which is owned by Facebook, has built machine learning tools that can identify accounts which use third-party apps to artificially grow their audience by posting fake likes and comments, as well as boosting follower numbers.

Instagram says its new tools can now identify the accounts that use such services and remove the fake activity taking place on them.

“This type of behaviour is bad for the community, and third-party apps that generate inauthentic likes, follows and comments violate our Community Guidelines and Terms of Use,” the company said in a blog post on the issue.


“We’re taking a number of steps to limit this kind of unwelcome behaviour. Accounts we identify using these services will receive an in-app message alerting them that we have removed the inauthentic likes, follows and comments given by their account to others. We will also ask them to secure their account by changing their password.”

The site has become an increasingly powerful social media platform since its launch in 2010 and is now used by thousands of online influencers to showcase products and services to their followers, often getting paid to market such products.

It has become a lucrative business, and one the site is now looking to police more strictly.

“Today’s update is just another step in keeping Instagram a vibrant community where people connect and share in authentic ways,” the app said, also warning those that did choose to use third-party apps “may see their Instagram experience impacted”.

The new initiative comes as Facebook continues efforts to try and cut down on fake and malicious behaviour on its platform, having removed a host of accounts in recent weeks as part of its own battle against fake content, users and activity.

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