Picture: REUTERS/Dado Ruvic
Picture: REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

Instagram wants you to take a video selfie, proving your identity to combat malicious spam and fake accounts

By Floyd Matlala Time of article published Nov 22, 2021

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META-owned social media giant Instagram is reportedly adding a new feature that will assist users confirm their identities on the platform.

Instagram said it will not collect any data that relates to people’s physical features and that the feature will only be used for identity verification and nothing else.

“Instagram is now using video selfies to confirm users’ identity. Meta promises not to collect biometric data,” said the company.

The photo and video sharing app will introduce the feature to combat the fake or spam accounts on the platform. Instagram estimated that close to 95 million such accounts exist.

These accounts cause havoc across all social networks with spam messages. They also harass people and use artificial means to boost followers by the number of likes, views and their chat activity.

Social media consultant and commentator Matt Navarra posted screenshots on his Twitter timeline showing users exactly how the video-selfie prompt works.

The first picture/prompt says, “We need a short video of you turning your head in different directions. This helps us confirm that you’re a real person and confirm your identity.”

The second picture/prompt says, “Thanks for completing these steps. Submit this video to help us confirm you are a real person and confirm your identity.”

Meta promised its users that the video selfies will never be visible on Instagram and will be deleted from the platform’s servers within 30 days.

Identity verification usually happens when a new user registers on the platform, but a follow-up tweet from Meta-owned Instagram says it is asking suspicious accounts to verify if they are human and not bots. However, existing and verified users on the platform can still be asked to go through the video selfie process.

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