01.11 2019 10:00h

Fake Story Views and "Misinformation" Are A Problem on Instagram

The platform is working hard to crack down on both in the near future
Facebook, Instagram, Fake followers, Fake News, Misinformation, Reporting tool, Fake story views, Fake instagram, Fake engagement, Engagement Pods

Throughout the past few years, across a variety of social media platforms (but let’s get real, mostly Instagram), user have worked hard to game the elusive algorithm in hopes of boosting their audience following and rates of engagement.

From Facebook engagement pods to fake followers to borderline content, social media fanatics have tried just about anything when it comes to racking up the Likes and Comments on their latest post.

In return, platforms have cracked down time and time again in the battle against inauthenticity, shutting down Groups that facilitate engagement pod behavior and clearing out fake follower ‘bots from the platform.

It’s a vicious cycle and it won’t be stopping any time soon, especially as social media “clout” (as the kids are referring to it these days) is now be considered a form of currency.

In order to stop the spread of inauthentic content, Instagram will soon be giving its users the ability to report misinformation.

According to Social Media Today Insta-users can now inform the platform about content they believe to be fake and “. . . help improve our ability to proactively catch misinformation.”

In addition to clearing out fake news from the platform, “Instagram is reportedly working on a solution for the wave of inauthentic story views that has spread throughout the network,” according to Search Engine Journal.

Wait, fake Instagram Story views are now a thing???

Yep, you read that right.

Tech Crunch recently reported that an influx of Russian accounts have appeared to be “watching” users Stories, leaving some social media fans confused and suspicious about the activity.

According to the tech website “. . . a UK social media agency called Hydrogen also noticed the issue back in June — blogging then that: ‘Mass viewing of Instagram Stories is the new buying followers of 2019’, i.e. as a consequence of the Facebook-owned social network cracking down on bots and paid-for followers on the platform.”

Tech Crunch reports Instagram is working to put a stop to fake Story views. An Instagram rep told the tech website the platform will "introduce new measures to reduce such activity" but didn't get into specifics.

"We also asked about the Russian element but Instagram was unable to provide any intelligence on why a big proportion of the fake Stories views seem to be coming from Russia (without any love). So that remains a bit of a mystery," Tech Crunch reporter Natasha Lomas writes. 

Fake Instagram Story views are easy to purchase (a quick search shows multiple websites offering Story views for as low as eighty-five cents), however, some Insta-users who've never bought fake Story views have claimed to see an influx of Russian accounts watching their Stories.

It will be interesting to see how Instagram will empower users to report both misinformation and fake Story views in the coming weeks. Check back soon for more updates!

What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below.

Written by Laura Kell and Naa Pappoe. Image credit: Shutterstock.

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