Instagram to verify suspicious accounts with a government ID

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on August 14, 2020

Instagram will now require suspicious accounts to verify themselves by submitting some form of government identification, the company said on Thursday.

“We will begin asking people to confirm who’s behind an account when we see a pattern of potential inauthentic behaviour. 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 said in a blog post.

Ahead of the United States Presidential elections, Instagram and its parent company Facebook have been bullish on identifying and stopping suspicious behaviour. Facebook in July had removed four separate networks for violating its policy against foreign interference and coordinated inauthentic behaviour (CIB). These networks originated in Canada and Ecuador, Brazil, Ukraine, and the United States, Facebook said.

“In each case, the people behind this activity coordinated with one another and used fake accounts as a central part of their operations to mislead people about who they are and what they are doing, and that was the basis for our action,” it had said in an official release.

According to a report from the Senate Intelligence Committee on Russian election interference in 2018, Instagram “had been the most effective tool used by external authorities to conduct its information operations campaign,” Engadget reported.

Facebook already has identification measure in place for certain accounts.

Facebook in 2018 started to verify the identity of people managing pages with large audiences. Earlier this year, it said that it will verify the identities of profiles displaying “inauthentic behaviour.”

“Moving forward, we will verify the identity of people who have a pattern of inauthentic behaviour on Facebook and whose posts start to rapidly go viral in the US,” Facebook had said.

Published on August 14, 2020

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