Social media site Instagram has announced plans to take action against users artificially increasing their follower numbers.
“Starting today, we will begin removing inauthentic likes, follows and comments from accounts that use third-party apps to boost their popularity,” Instagram posted on Tuesday.
The social platform, which is owned by Facebook, said it had created machine-learning tools to identify and remove inauthentic activity.
Users with large numbers of followers are often able to attract lucrative sponsorship deals and sell products on their platform if they are considered to be influencers.
“Since the early days of Instagram, we have auto-detected and removed fake accounts to protect our community.
“Today’s update is just another step in keeping Instagram a vibrant community where people connect and share in authentic ways,” Instagram said.
Instagram is a photo and video-sharing social networking service owned by Facebook, Inc. It was created by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, and launched in October 2010 exclusively on iOS.
The clampdown comes as Facebook says it has deleted around 750 million fake accounts in the last quarter.
Facebook has been bedevilled by a number of scandals including the Cambridge Analytica data-sharing scandal in connection with the site’s role in influencing the U.S. presidential election and the Brexit referendum in 2016.