Instagram mass deletion

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It’s being dubbed the “Instagram rapture” – perhaps the kind of over dramatism you might expect from social media. Instagram deleted millions of accounts that were apparently posting spam.


According to figures collated by Zach Alliak users lost an average of 7.7% of their follows with one losing 99.9% and a couple losing over 50%.

Removed accounts were in the millions so I asked Mark James, ESET security specialist, whether he thought this was the right way to go about reducing spammy accounts.


“Is it the right way?”


“It’s one way to deal with them, is it the right way? That depends if you’re being spammed by one of these accounts.”

Mark thinks that on one hand “these types of accounts could be accountable for click-fraud.” But that “people like a form of anonymity and having throwaway accounts offers this to a degree.”

Also “they may also be used to direct traffic to malware sites and thus ultimately do more harm than good.”

Mark explains that with a move like this there “will be casualties” and that “some people will just like to have a throwaway account to post how they feel without being associated with it directly.”

It is becoming increasingly difficult to have any degree of anonymity online. In some cases this is good, online bullying for example, but if you just want to post an innocent ranty blog that you don’t want coming back to you, it can be tricky.

Mark suggests that innocent users could avoid having “spammy” accounts removed by “having some means to validate exactly who you are… ensuring it’s not a throwaway account or someone posing as someone else.”

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Were you affected by the Instagram purge? Do you use throwaway accounts to post?