Instagram is furthering its efforts to fend off bots and fake accounts by requiring certain account holders to confirm their identity.
If an account holder cannot provide confirmation of their identity when it’s requested, then their posts may receive reduced distribution.
In other cases, failure to comply with an ID check could result in accounts being permanently disabled.
Instagram will not be asking this from all accounts, only the ones exhibiting a pattern of inauthentic behavior.
“We want the content you see on Instagram to be authentic and to come from real people, not bots or others trying to mislead you.
Starting today, we will begin asking people to confirm who’s behind an account when we see a pattern of potential inauthentic behavior.
By prompting the people behind accounts to confirm their information, we will be able to better understand when accounts are attempting to mislead their followers, hold them accountable, and keep our community safe.”
Instagram is using a range of signals to determine whether an account’s authenticity is in question.
What signals does Instagram use to determine an account’s authenticity?
Some signals that Instagram use to gauge an account’s authenticity include:
- Accounts potentially engaged in coordinated inauthentic behavior.
- When a majority of an account’s followers are in a different country to their location.
- Accounts showing signs of automated activity.
When Instagram detects signals of potential inauthentic activity, it will require the account holder to confirm who they are.
The name of the account holder does not have to match the name of the account itself.
That would create all kinds of problems when it comes to brand pages, or anything other than personal accounts.
Rather, Instagram is only looking to confirm there’s a real person behind accounts with potentially inauthentic activity.
Once an account holder verifies their information, their account will function as usual unless there’s a reason to investigate further.
Privacy will be protected as IDs are stored securely and deleted within 30 days of being reviewed.
The company also puts to rest any concern that IDs may be shared publicly by saying: “pseudonymity is still an important part of Instagram.”
What types of IDs does Instagram accept?
Instagram accepts a long list of different types of IDs, including:
- Birth certificate
- Driver’s license
- Marriage certificate
- Official name change paperwork
- Personal or vehicle insurance card
- Non-driver’s government ID (example: disability, SNAP or national ID card)
- Green card, residence permit or immigration papers
- Tribal identification or status card
- Voter ID card
- Family certificate
- National age card
- Immigration registration card
- Tax identification card
Any type of ID submitted should contain either a full name and photo or a full name and proof of age.
With all of that said, most users will not have to worry about this update impacting their use of Instagram.
The difference between authentic and inauthentic behavior is usually pretty cut and dry.
Unless you have a bot running your account, rely heavily on automated tools, or have purchased a large amount of followers then there’s no reason why your account should be flagged.
Given the fact that purchased followers tend to be fake accounts, we may see peoples’ follower counts drop significantly once Instagram starts cracking down on them.