Instagram Bots, The Social Issue Grinding My Gears


Many of us have a real-life relationship with our social media accounts. Think about it, if Facebook is making you mad with all the political posts, you don’t go on for a few weeks. Twitter is just the same old stuff, so you take a break from keeping your HootSuite up all day. As with any relationship in life, you are going to have your ups and downs, and social accounts are no different. For me, I am currently in a virtual fight with my Instagram. The reason is quite simple. Bots!

Instagram bots…. Oh man, where do I begin? They are the sole reason why I currently have a love-hate relationship with Instagram. I think the platform itself is awesome, it makes my morning bus ride go by quicker and the number of cute dog accounts is endless. One thing that I have noticed lately is the ridiculous amount of bot accounts that I get notifications from on every day.

Just for fun, earlier today I asked about ten people around the office if they receive fake follows from not-appropriate fake Instagram accounts. Every single person said that they deal with this on a daily basis, some multiple times a day. One of our colleagues (who is a communications professional, so we are supposed to be social!) went so far as saying that this is the main reason why they have a private account – yet they still get these requests a few times a week. Another friend of mine said, that he loved the bots because it makes his likes and followers go up and no one is going to go click on his followers to see who they are, so his numbers continue to be impressive.

So if this is such a big issue why is nothing being done? I know that I am just a small time user, but clearly, I am not the only one running into this issue. Does Instagram not care? Do the users just simply ignore the bots? Am I letting this get to me for no reason? Regardless, it is something that is a flaw in an otherwise great platform and as something that most of us use on a daily basis it would be awesome for them to fix.

With this, I recently tried to take some matters into my own hands and every time I got one of these requests, I started reporting the account to Instagram through their multi-click, not so easy reporting process. I tried this for a little over a week, but it seemingly made it worse, I was receiving multiple spam accounts following me or liking my pictures daily. So the result was far from desired.

So here goes another try. Hey, Instagram – this is my plea to you, please fix this flaw in your system. I am not going to sit here and claim that I am a coder and this is a simple API fix because I know this is way above my computer skills level. But, why does it seem to be that Facebook and Twitter have algorithms in place to at least slow down this annoyance? I think it is time for Instagram to step up their game and take care of this issue.

Thanks for listening to my rant and if you have suggestions on how to tackle the bots, let me know. I’m all ears!