An investigation by Techcrunch has revealed that Instagram is selling advertisements to the companies selling fake followers despite banning them in November.
Instagram announced in November that it is banning all the accounts that have obtained artificial likes, followers and comments from third-party apps using bots.
In Techcrunch’s investigation, it has been found that nearly 17 companies were openly advertising on the social media platform thus violating the platform’s policies.
In response to the investigation, Instagram clarified that it has removed all the advertisements and disabled the Facebook pages that were violating its policies.
However, just one day after this statement, Techcrunch found ads from two such services and five more fake follower selling companies on the platform.
This revelation raises a serious question on the policy enforcement of Instagram and its efforts to protects users from spammers. The fact that it took an investigation for the platform to remove policy-violating companies is deeply worrying.
One can easily buy 1,000 to 2,500 fake followers by paying a meager amount of $46 to $126 per month. These third-party companies increase your follower count or the number of likes on your posts at the cost of your Instagram username, password, some demographic details and topics relevant to you.
Instagram has issued a statement saying that it has banned all the accounts and ads that were breaching its policies.
“Services that offer to boost an account’s popularity via inauthentic likes, comments, and followers, as well as ads that promote these services, aren’t allowed on Instagram. We’ve taken action on the services raised in this article, including removing violating ads, disabling Pages and accounts, and stopping Pages from placing further ads.”
To improve user experience and protect them from being spammed, Instagram said, the platform deploys machine learning tools. Companies’ blind faith in AI is one of the reasons why such advertisements get past the vetting stage.
Do you think Instagram is following the footsteps of Facebook for increasing its userbase? Express your views in comments.