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Instagram Looks to Crack Down on Bots With New ID Verification Measure

Instagram will start requiring accounts found to be suspicious to provide Government-issued ID.

Instagram is looking to crack down on fake accounts and bots with new authenticity measures. Instagram said in a statement it will require users of profiles found to be presenting a “pattern of potential inauthentic behaviour” to provide Government-issued identification information to confirm they are a real person. If an account asked to verify its identity refuses to do so, Instagram said the content may receive “reduced distribution, or the account may be disabled.”

Instagram will take a range of measures into account when assessing potential inauthentic activity. “This includes accounts potentially engaged in coordinated inauthentic behaviour, or when we see the majority of someone’s followers are in a different country to their location, or if we find signs of automation, such as bot accounts for example,” Instagram wrote.

It said the move will help the company understand when accounts are “attempting to mislead their followers” and keep the Instagram community safe. Instagram said the new measures will only involve a small number of accounts.

IDs will be stored securely and deleted within 30 days once Instagram’s review is completed. It won’t be shared on the person’s profile “as pseudonymity is still an important part” of the platform. If you don’t have a government-issued ID, Instagram will accept paychecks, mail, bank statements, or credit cards. However, it hasn’t been made clear if the policy for accounts not associated with a name and did not define what it means by “suspicious”.

The new measure will provide another way to try and stop inauthentic accounts on the platform, which should lessen their impact. Back in 2018, Instagram said it would start cracking down on fake likes, follows, and comments generated by third-party apps and bots on the platform.

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