Tech

Instagram Targets Illegally Obtained Likes and Followers

Third-party services selling likes and followers on Instagram have been available for a long time. According to the terms of use, getting more followers through these methods is illegal, but this issue hasn’t been brought up as much in the past. Today, Instagram has finally put its foot down and has begun removing likes and followers purchased via illegal means.

Instagram says that they have developed “machine learning tools” which will help in locating accounts that use these illegal services.

“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,” states Instagram in an announcement. “People who use these types of apps share their username and password, and their accounts are sometimes used by third-party apps for inauthentic likes, follows and comments. Not only does this introduce bad behavior into the Instagram community, it also makes these accounts less secure.”

Instagram
Instagram

Buying likes and followers requires you to share your login details with third-party apps, which is obviously extremely insecure, and, as Instagram puts it, introduces “bad behavior” into the community. To promote security, a password reset has been forced for all accounts which were deemed insecure. Several people who “unknowingly shared their login credentials with a third-party app” will also need to change their passwords to log out unauthorized users.

For now, users of such services will have their inauthentic likes and followers removed, but there will be “additional measures” in the future. Those who continue to use third-party apps “may see their Instagram experience impacted.” It is unclear whether or not Instagram will ban accounts, but failure to heed this initial warning may lead to more disciplinary action in the future. The company is determined to keep Instagram “a vibrant community where people connect and share in authentic ways.”

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