Gone are the days of buying likes on Instagram.
Popular social media platform Instagram has taken measures on how to curb some users fake likes, followers and comments. The newly instituted crackdown still in its beginning stages was kicked off in a bid to maintain an authentic platform. The company began removing “inauthentic” likes, follows and comments from accounts that use third-party apps that falsely inflate popularity.
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.
According to CNN, “Instagram said it has built machine learning tools to help detect and remove fake popularity boosting. Users of these services use bots that leave comments and like posts on real Instagram accounts, often for a fee.”
The accounts that continue using these third-party services to boost their audience may see a change in their accounts as their following drops as a result of the Instagram-led audit.
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.