Instagram Suffers Weird, Fruit-Based Flood of Spam

Published on June 29, 2013
by Mike Isaac

instagramfruitspamStrange things are afoot on Instagram.

The service seems to be suffering from a spam attack, spreading in the form of — get this — pictures of fruit.

Users are reporting the same types of fruit photos auto-posted and appearing in their friends’ Instagram feeds, with a similar caption under each one: “Ever seen this stuff? I guess it’s super healthy. I’m giving it a try. I saw it on Dr. Oz’s show. Link is in my bio. #lovemyfollowers #health.”

At this point, it’s unclear how widespread the attack is, or just exactly how the problem is spreading. Instagram and Facebook have not yet responded to a request for comment.

Update 12:59 pm PT: An Instagram spokeswoman responded to our request for comment with the following: “Earlier today a small portion of our users experienced a spam incident where unwanted photos were posted from their accounts. Our security and spam team quickly took actions to secure the accounts involved, and the posted photos are being deleted.”

Anecdotally, it’s happened to multiple tech-savvy users in AllThingsD staffers’ feeds, including at least one Facebook employee. Om Malik over at GigaOm is also seeing similar activity in his own feed.

Instagram seems to be auto-recognizing some of this suspicious activity. One affected user I spoke to told me that Instagram sent him a standard password reset email shortly after he noticed the errant activity, and he was automatically logged out of the service. He changed his password and seems to be fine right now.

Something odd, though perhaps unrelated: Twitter also saw a surge in spam earlier in the week, also focused on odd diet programs and suggestions. Related? Maybe, maybe not.

Still waiting for Facebook to explain exactly what’s going on. We’ll update when we hear back.

Meanwhile, look on the bright side: At least the spammers left our latte pics alone.

Return to: Instagram Suffers Weird, Fruit-Based Flood of Spam