tech

Instagram will make suspicious accounts verify their identities with a government ID

All those accounts that do not comply will be disabled or their posts will be down-ranked. 

These new rules are coming into play as both Facebook and Instagram step up their efforts to fight misinformation ahead of the US’ 2020 elections.
These new rules are coming into play as both Facebook and Instagram step up their efforts to fight misinformation ahead of the US’ 2020 elections. (REUTERS)

Instagram is taking some strict measures to weed out bots and other accounts that are manipulating the platform. The social media platform is soon going to ask users to verify their identities if they suspect ‘potential inauthentic behaviour’.

Instagram has stated that its new policy is not going to affect most users but it is going to target suspicious accounts. They explained in a statement that this includes accounts potentially engaged in coordinated inauthentic behaviour or when a majority of someone’s followers are from a different country to their location or if they find signs of automation like in bot accounts.

Under the new rules, these ‘suspicious’ accounts will be asked to verify their identity by submitting a government ID. If they fail to comply, Instagram is going to down-rank their posts on the feed or disable their account entirely.

Facebook too has a similar policy in force that requires people running popular pages to verify their identities.

Instagram has particularly faced scrutiny for not doing enough to prevent its platform from being used for election meddling. According to Endgadget, a report from the Senate Intelligence Committee on Russian election interference in 2016 found Instagram to be “the most effective tool used by the IRA to conduct its information operations campaign”.