Why is it so hard for Instagram to get rid of or at least regulate bots on their platform?

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Why is it so hard for Instagram to get rid of or at least regulate bots on their platform?

In: Technology

Think of it as an arms race. Instagram is trying to prevent bots, and is constantly introducing new measures and algorithms to do so. Meanwhile, the bot programmers are constantly trying to find ways to circumvent said algorithms. Once one person finds a workaround, the code is shared around, and everyone can circumvent it. Then Instagram is back to square one.

Bot accounts look like regular accounts until you start looking for them. This allows them to inflate their user numbers and makes them a more appealing platform for advertisers. This means that they make more money selling ads, creating a perverse incentive. If they got good at finding and removing bot accounts, their user numbers would probably massively fall, costing a significant amount of ad revenue in addition to the developer costs to create the bot-find algorithms.

Remember, companies existing solely to generate profit. When they offer a free service, you become the product they are selling. Either they sell your personal data, or they charge advertisers for access to you.

How about this: if they get rid of all the bots, the total viewership numbers will drop and they will lose advertisers. So they’re trying to ban some of the more nefarious bots but they’re in no rush since it would hurt the company. Same goes for Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Twitch, etc.

Bots can look almost exactly like a normal user, the bot is designed to act exactly the same a real user would. If you ban all the bots you risk banning a good number of real users.