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Instagram doesn’t want you faking your way to popularity

Some Instagram users are calling on automated tools to raise their profile. Now the service is automatically putting the kibosh on such tactics.

Instagram doesn’t want you faking your way to popularity
[Photo: rawpixel]
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If you want people to love you on Instagram, it doesn’t hurt to engage with other members of the community. Or, if you’re lazy and/or sneaky, you could try outsourcing the heavy lifting to one of a number of apps that use your Instagram credentials to follow, like, and comment on your behalf in an entirely automated fashion.

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Instagram, not surprisingly, wants its service to be about human connections, not bots pelting members with spam interactions. It says that such apps violate its terms of service. And now it’s using machine learning to identify inauthentic activity and undo it. The company says it will notify the people who use such apps that it’s deleted the synthetic interactions, and will make them change their passwords so the apps can no longer hijack their accounts.

This sounds like good news for those of us who enjoy using Instagram rather than seeing it as a popularity contest to be won at any cost. Or at least I hope the company’s measures will help minimize the fake comments that occasionally overwhelm my own feed.

About the author

Harry McCracken is the technology editor for Fast Company, based in San Francisco. In past lives, he was editor at large for Time magazine, founder and editor of Technologizer, and editor of PC World.

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