Mike Isaac

Recent Posts by Mike Isaac

Facebook and Instagram to Crack Down on Insta-Spam

It may be the most popular mobile photo-sharing app in the world, but Instagram still has some big problems. The biggest right now? Spam. It’s everywhere.

Hopefully, not for much longer. Instagram announced late on Friday it planned to tackle its massive spam problem head on, devoting a number of engineers to fixing the issue inside the service.

“There’s no quick fix, but we have a team of engineers working every day to tackle the issue and we hope you’ll notice their improvements,” Instagram said, appropriately enough, in the comments section of a recent photo taken from the official Instagram account.

Take a look at the “Explore” tab inside the Instagram app, and click on any one of the pictures. They’re flooded with spammy comments, ads for promotional accounts and Web sites. Same thing with the account of any major celebrity who uses the service and has a large following.

It’s a mess, and Instagram knows it.

But now that the small start-up has been acquired and folded into Facebook, CEO Kevin Systrom has the resources and experience of the world’s largest social network to help Instagram in the fight. Facebook has lots of background in this area, having fought against spammers intensely over its eight-year existence with tools like the artificially intelligent Facebook Immune System, and having even gone after some well-established spammers in court.

No word on how Instagram is going to crack down internally, but externally, Instagram wants users to help in a sort of community watch program, flagging spam by clicking through to spammers’ accounts and reporting them.

With any luck, the service will see a noticeable decrease in spam over the coming weeks.


Latest Video

View all videos »

Search »

Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work