Instagram declares war on fake likes

Getty Images

Getty Images

You may see Instagram follow accounts start to drop in the coming days, and this is why.

The company has announced it will be removing fake followers, likes, and comments from accounts that use third-party apps to inflate their popularity.

Since its launch in 2010, Instagram has become a tool for online influencers to amass large followings and often, in turn, get paid to market products.

Starting on Monday, Instagram will begin to remove inauthentic engagement with accounts that use third-party apps to grow their follower count and engagement on the platform - a practice that violates the app's community guidelines and terms of use. The site states it's their "responsibility to ensure these experiences aren't disrupted by inauthentic activity". The owners of the flagged accounts will be alerted of the deletion of all fake likes, follows, and comments.

Instagram will accomplish this through the use of machine learning tools built to identify such accounts.

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The post goes on to walk through some of the steps being taken. As such, accounts identified using these services will receive an in-app message alerting them to the deleted activity and suggesting they change their passwords.

Instagram said it would notify users about removed likes, follows, or comments. This is something that runs rampant on pretty much every social media platform out there, and today, Instagram announced that it has had enough.

Also from the company's post: "Since the early days of Instagram, we have auto-detected and removed fake accounts to protect our community".

Purging inauthentic activity will be an ongoing effort for Instagram, so this is not just a one-and-done occurrence.

It is the latest in a string of high-profile moves by social media firms to secure themselves against misinformation, fake users and fraudulent activity.

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