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Instagram’s war on fake followers, paid-for likes deals fatal blow on influencers

Instagram has announced that it is at last cracking down on the use of fake followers and paid for likes on the platform.

In a press release on Tuesday, the online platform promised to delete the fakes in order to restore trust in Instagram users and advertisers.

“Recently we’ve seen accounts use third-party apps to artificially grow their audience”, the statement read.

FAKE LIKES

“People come to Instagram to have real experiences, including genuine interactions. It is our responsibility to ensure these experiences aren’t disrupted by inauthentic activity.”

They added that the accounts they will identify using these services will receive an in-app message alerting them that they have removed the inauthentic likes, follows and comments given by their account to others.

They advised people who may have unknowingly shared their login credentials with a third-party app that if you receive an in-app message, simply change your password to revoke their access to your account.

FAKE NEWS

The move comes as social media sites, including Instagram’s parent company Facebook, face increasing criticism over the presence of trolls, fake news, and misinformation on their platforms.

Earlier this year, Twitter removed tens of millions of accounts from users’ follower counts. These accounts were previously locked due to suspicious activity. For the many social media influencers who use their following to earn a living, the reevaluation of inauthentic follows and likes heavily affected their statistics.

In August, Instagram announced new tools that help users know who’s actually behind some of the platform’s largest accounts. It also introduced a new verification system for celebrities and public figures and began offering support for the use of third-party authenticator apps.