It seems that popularity comes with its own set of demerits! Ever since Instagram topped the list among viewers as a prominent messaging app, users have turned to automated apps that would fetch them likes and follows from fake users to make it seem like their posts are gaining more attention than they actually are. Now, Instagram is trying to curb down on these fishy apps using machine learning.

In a recent blog post, Instagram added that, it would begin removing activity generated “from accounts that use third-party apps to boost their popularity.” This includes likes, follows, and comments generated by these accounts, as they go against Instagram’s Terms of Use.


Instagram would use machine learning models it has built, to spot this type of activity. However, even if the post doesn’t give any specifics on how they were built and what signs of fake activity they would take into account.

For this, the user would receive a notification from Instagram that the fake activity in question has been removed, and would be asked to change their password, as some of these apps ask for users’ names and passwords.


Instagram had previously announced in August that it was taking aim at another type of inauthentic activity, i.e. for accounts that purport to be run by someone in a country other than the one they’re actually located in, with the addition of an “about this account” tab.

At the time, Instagram was dealing with an issue where a group of users reported that their accounts were hacked by users with a Russian email address. The issue also quite instigated Instagram to add support for third-party two-factor authentication apps.


The prime factor here remains to remove Instagram of both inauthentic activity and accounts is still far from over though, as Instagram repeatedly had to remove groups of fake accounts linked to Russian and Iranian trolls in the months and weeks leading up to the U.S. midterm elections.