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Research: Almost 10 percent of Instagram accounts are fake

All social media have to deal with bots: fake accounts that are set up for a specific purpose. Everyone is doing their best to remove those accounts and as Twitter last showed this can get up to . Instagram may also need some cleaning up, according to research that was done for [TheInformation] . About ten percent of the users turn out to be a bot, which amounts to approximately 95 million accounts. In 2015 that figure was even lower.

That is exactly the wrong development, especially in these times of fake news and everyone’s promises to do something about it. Perhaps the parent company Facebook is too busy with its own fake news to look at Instagram properly, or that they do not find it a problem yet. The time that Insta was only used for beautiful pictures is really a while behind us, so it would be smart to do something about it. Facebook itself, however, seems to have very different figures than those from the survey.

How do you find a bot on Intagram?

However, the method used by Ghost Data researchers is not bad: they have purchased 20,000 bots themselves and then analyzed their behavior. Subsequently, Instagram was searched for accounts that showed the same characteristics, and that is how they came up with their numbers. It is not possible that Facebook itself does not have algorithms that can find similar actions. That could mean that there are many people who display ‘bot behavior’ on Instagram but do really exist, or that Facebook wants to make the problem as small as possible for the outside world.

Anyway, the platform deals with exactly the same problems as all other social media platforms. Fake accounts are hard to stop and as long as money is paid for campaigns promoted by people with many followers there will always be a reason to create fake followers (whether they produce fake content or not) by parties. In that respect, Instagram has a little more trouble than the rest, since so much of the content is offered as images and video. They are more difficult to check than simple text and also go faster. The chance that Instagram gets resolved in the short term is therefore small.

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