Instagram is the latest social media platform to crack down on fake likes and comments.
On Monday, the company began removing “inauthentic” likes, follows and comments from accounts that use third-party apps that falsely inflate popularity. In a blog post, Instagram said this is part of a greater effort to maintain an “authentic” platform.
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 purged tens of millions of accounts from users’ follower counts. These accounts were previously locked due to suspicious activity.
Instagram said it built machine learning tools to help detect and remove fake popularity boosting. Users can sign up for such services by providing their username and password in exchange for more likes and followers. These services use bots that leave comments and like posts on real Instagram accounts, often for a fee.
Accounts that use such third-party apps will receive a message notifying them inauthentic likes, follows and comments have been removed from their posts and account. Users will be prompted to change their password and revoke access for the popularity boosting service in order to secure their account. Instagram acknowledges some users may have unintentionally shared their log-in information with third-parties.