Instagram will soon ask for Government ID to fight Russian Troll accounts

It is well known that foreign governments have been using social media to sow divisions in society, but we usually imagine this is confined to Facebook and Twitter.

Instagram has however been another vector, with widely shared image macros which provoke high levels of emotion on all sides of an issue, with the aim of disrupting society.

With the US election coming up Facebook is planning to fight this inappropriate use of their platform by asking accounts which have a large reach, ie. which is seen by many people on a regular basis, to verify their ID.

A leak by reverse engineer Alessandro Paluzzi has shown us what this process will look like.

Users will need to upload a photo of a government-issued ID, their real name and location and then take a selfie video, which will then presumably be verified by real humans.

Facebook promises that the ID will never be published on Facebook and that the documents you submitted will be deleted in 30 days.

It is likely that many real accounts will be caught up in this added inconvenience, but given the stakes, the effort appears worthwhile.

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