Instagram Is Culling Fake Accounts Using New Machine Learning Tools

Instagram Is Culling Fake Accounts Using New Machine Learning Tools

Instagram has announced new plans to crack down on fake accounts, likes, and comments. The company claims to have new tools in place identifying those using services and apps to boost their follow count and overall social engagement.

It’s no secret that many public figures and corporations have purchased bot accounts in order to boost their perceived popularity as a brand. The recent surge in sponsored posts and the following opportunities to make serious cash from advertisements on the platform have spurred a desperate rush for many people to acquire a large following as soon as possible.

The app, which recently surpassed one billion users, has warned that handing over your login information to third-party companies who claim they can boost your following is a violation of Instagram’s community guidelines and compromises users’ security.

In the statement, they used very selective wording in claiming that users breaking the rules will "see their Instagram experience impacted" and that they are now actively using “machine learning tools” in order to identify those at fault.

The operation to clean up the platform is already underway, and those affected will be warned they must also change their password so as to break ties with any third-party company who holds their login details. It follows Facebook’s recent announcement that nearly 1.5 billion phony accounts were removed between April and September.

Lead image credit: lalo Hernandez on Unsplash

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16 Comments

David Penner's picture

This one local photographer is gonna be pissed. He went from 2000 followers to 100,000 followers in like half a year yet was still getting a couple hundred likes per photo. I posted that maybe he should buy some likes to match the followers that he bought. He blocked me. Looks like he will lose all his followers now

Adriano Brigante's picture

How about putting a big banner in the cheaters' bio to let everyone know?

Iain Lea's picture

Instagram have let the fake likes/followers/comments companies and services grow their footprint for years!

I personnally think its good that they will now tackle this problem BUT they are only doing it IMO so that they can push more paid ads... moving 3rd party pushing effects into their inhouse ad systems... at the end of the day its facebook owned and look at how facebook has ended up.

Exactly. Big influx of fake/real likes gives boost to a post visibility in the feed which defeats the purpose of Instagram - show your post to the minimum possibke number of people and charge you to show it to the rest.

Iain Lea's picture

Same as facebook... slowly but surely time to move onwards.

I am still looking for the social platform where social is honoured.

Martin Peterdamm's picture

facebook is different. If you have a lot of followers you are f.ucked. no one will see your post until you really throw in a serious amount of money into each post

Maximilian Sulzer's picture

Even more ads? Already every 3rd post i see is an ad or paid post.

Felix Wu's picture

I wonder how it affects those who bought followers. Let the drop begin haha

Rayann Elzein's picture

I have never purchased fake followers or likes, and never used bots. Yet my account keeps accumulating both fake likes and fake followers. Did someone just buy those for me? A jealous competitor? (not that there's anything to be jealous about when you look at my account). Since a few days, I have started removing all fake followers and ghost followers... 1000+ so far that I have removed. This helps put things in perspective. And I think I better stop wasting my time deleting those, and focus on my website and my blog...

Simon Patterson's picture

I thought the theory was that bots are used to like and follow every account and post they can, in the hope that the real humans will appreciate the attention and follow back.

Simon Patterson's picture

The more engagement Instagram can claim, the more attractive it is to advertisers. But that only works if advertisers can trust that the majority of that engagement is by real humans, not bots.

So Instagram walks that fine line between appreciating the boost in stats that bots provide, and having advertisers lose faith in the platform due to the influence of bots.

I don't think Instagram will ever get rid of bots, because bots help boost the figures that Instagram can take to the market. But Instagram needs to periodically make a big show of taking a stand against bots, to convince advertisers that the engagement/reach figures it claims are sufficiently accurate.

Tim Ericsson's picture

Can FStoppers use this machine learning to cull shitposters? Lol

I hope they remove all of the ghost followers that I gained from being featured on Instagram's suggested user list.

That's what I was wishing for as well, until I realized that the vast majority of ex-suggested accounts will never experience positive organic growth again, and I left that account behind and started over with a new one. It's been so much more liberating.

*Oh hey, fancy seeing you here after coming from the same article in Petapixel. I guess we have similar browsing habits.*