Any internet space that collects many people is bound to be used by spammers sooner or later. Spammers have been around way before Instagram cropped up, and as technology advances, so does spamming.
New and unseen ways of spreading hate and negativity have been occurring on Instagram, typically revolving around race and religious beliefs, among other topics. Cyberbullying has been around for a while, and millions of people suffer daily.
Unfortunately, social media apps like Instagram harbor such hateful trolls, especially when the platform itself does so little to prevent unsolicited messages and spam comments. Don’t worry, though. The situation isn’t as dark and hopeless as it may seem.
We’re here to help you become an Instagram spam expert, loaded with the power to smite all haters who dare trespass on your profile! We’ll teach you how to report spammers and give you insight into the best ways you can protect your Instagram account from spam! Let’s get started!
What Does Spam Mean on Instagram?
Chances are, if you have a public profile on Instagram, you are likely to receive lots of spam. Especially if you have a large following, you might be receiving spam messages from hundreds of people every day.
But spamming isn’t limited simply to receiving unsolicited messages or comments. On occasion, we can be guilty of it too. Sometimes we are so excited about a beautiful experience we’ve had we want to share it with everyone online. We end up posting lots of content in a short amount of time. This can clutter your followers’ feed with posts, and they might not be thrilled by it. Instead, try to post a small chunk of your beautiful memories every day and spread out the posts over a week to avoid getting unfollowed.
Using the same hashtags on posts is also considered spam. It’s not something your followers will notice necessarily, but Instagram might, and it might decide to time you out. Similarly, if you make a new account and instantly follow 100 people without having many followers back, the app might think you are creating a fake account for spamming purposes. Uh-oh!
Of course, we are not the ones spamming most of the time, but the ones suffering from it. You might be dealing with a fake account if you have received tons of likes and comments quickly, especially comments that don’t really say much.
Or you could be dealing with a troll instead – someone who writes hateful comments or uses abusive language. In both situations spamming is defined as “repeating an action too often and too quickly for it to be normal activity.” Let’s break down the many different types of spam that have surfaced over the past few years.
Types of Spam on Instagram
Now that you understand the term spam, we can discuss the different types of spam users you may come across on Instagram. Being able to differentiate between them can help you deal with the nuisance.
The Passive Spam Account
Everyone has come across this type of Instagram spam account at least once in their life. You’ll notice the red flags straight away – the lack of a profile picture is the main giveaway. Next, you might notice the absence of photos or posts on their feed, or if they do have any, they are usually a handful of unpolished images of seductive photos.
Their bio is generic and lacks personality. It usually prompts you to visit a website or subscribe to a service. Sometimes you might be tempted to “click this link to get more followers!” Or they hope you will fall for their fake sales story and steal your credit card information.
The final giveaway of the passive spam account is the username. A nonsensical cocktail of letters and numbers, meaning absolutely nothing. This should be your last warning – to not engage with this account.
The Aggressive Spam Account
These fake accounts are similar to the Passive spam accounts, except they’re worse. They will follow your account and try to get you to follow theirs.
To ensure they have been seen, aggressive spammers will leave comments multiple times to get more attention.
Their comments include phrases like “want more followers? follow our account” and tend to be repetitive or literally copy-pasted repeatedly on your profile. Aggressive spam accounts don’t care how many pots they have commented on because they believe that the more people see their comments, the more clicks they’ll get.
The Reciprocal Spam Account
Nowadays, a rare find but still considered a spammer is the reciprocal spam account. Bots or trolls don’t make this spam account. Instead, a regular person operates behind it. They spend A LOT of their free time scouring Instagram for people willing to exchange a “follow for follow.”
The reciprocal spammer says they will “follow back” or send “likes for likes.” But these spammers can go from 0 to 100 in minutes, leaving tons of unsolicited comments on your Instagram posts, hoping to get some of your followers hooked on the trade. There was a point when everyone was interested in these harmless exchanges.
The Finsta Spam Account
The Finsta (a play on the words “fake” and “insta” ) grew in popularity in recent years. It’s a secondary account teens create to share their personal and private thoughts. This account specifically made for sharing unique content, away from the hungry eyes of parents, is a popular current trend. But how is it considered spam?
Your Finsta account wouldn’t feature your real name or profile picture. Some users are tempted to take advantage of the anonymity and can start spreading rumors or harmful comments on people’s Instagram accounts.
Having multiple accounts in some ways can help you take full advantage of Instagram without the stress of encountering spammers. You can follow your inner circle of friends and family, set it to private, and communicate without boundaries. Alternatively, Finsta can be used for good, and making a secondary account has its advantages.
What’s the Goal of Instagram Spammers
You might be thinking, what is the point in making a fake Instagram account? Why do people do it? There are several reasons why spam accounts are created:
Catfishing – you have probably heard of a recent film called The Tinder Swindler. It serves as an excellent example of how social media apps can turn into a powerful tool in the hands of scammers. Many people embody a fake online persona for financial gain or wish fulfillment. With a lack of proper ID authentication methods, everyone can be anyone.
Fake news – spreading fake news or rumors is another common occurrence, not just on Instagram but also on social media. It’s difficult to check the legitimacy of news sources, and young adults often fall for the news of someone’s fake death. Sometimes fake rumors are used to upset a victim, too intentionally.
Hate – some people are just bitter and jealous and find pleasure in sending rude messages to Instagram users. Sometimes they have a personal agenda. Other times, they just like being internet trolls and feel powerful staying hidden behind their computers and anonymous fake accounts.
Harassment – many Instagram users like to send vulgar and immoral content, fake messages, and bother people. For reasons normal users probably can’t understand, these fake accounts and trolls send racy images, perhaps thinking they can engage you in a conversation. These can be some of the most disturbing Instagram spam accounts.
Scamming – the most common reason for Instagram spam is scamming. The whole idea behind spam is to get you to click on a specific link or attempt to hook you on a phony deal. Eventually, you might provide personal information or credit card details to scammers and lose money.
How to Report Instagram Spam?
So far, we have broken down the different types of Instagram spammers and what they do. The question is, how do you report a scammer?
One of the best things to ensure you won’t be troubled by a specific spam account again is to report them. Multiple reports of the same account eventually flag up, and Instagram deletes the spam accounts. You’re not only ensuring you won’t receive a message from the spam account again, but you’re also helping other Instagram accounts that could be potential targets.
We have already covered how to remove all followers on Instagram and deal with spam comments on Instagram if you’re having trouble. Here is how to report Instagram spam in a few easy steps:
Step 1: Open the Instagram app.
Step 2: Search your notifications for the most recent spam likes, comments, or messages you received.
Step 3: Press on the user profile who sent them to you.
Step 4: Press the three small dots on the profile you wish to report.
Step 5: Simply press “Report.”
Step 6: Choose between the two options: “Report post message or comment” and “Report account”.
Step 7: If you choose “Report account,” you will have the following options (choose according to your personal experience):
– It’s posting content that shouldn’t be on Instagram.
- It’s spam
- I just don’t like it
- Suicide, self-injury, or eating disorders
- Sale of illegal regulated goods
- Nudity or sexual activity
- Hate speech or symbols
- Violence or dangerous organizations
- Bullying or harassment
- Intellectual property violation
- Scam or fraud
- False information
– It’s pretending to be someone else.
- Someone I know
- A celebrity or public figure
- A business or organization
– They may be under the age of 13.
Now that you know how to report a user, you might be wondering how you can protect your account. The following section discusses different useful ways to protect your account from spam.
How to Protect My Instagram Account from Spam?
If you’re fed up with receiving spam on Instagram and other social media accounts, there is something you can do. Using third-party apps to protect your account is the safest way to use Instagram. Blocking and reporting won’t guarantee you won’t be contacted again by spammers in the future. And setting your account to private doesn’t work for everyone, especially people working hard to make a living on Instagram.
Using Spam Guard is a dead-simple. You need to go on their website and type in your username in the text bar. You can then choose whether to scan and clean your account, use real-time protection or receive a complete protection report. You could also get the best of all worlds and decide to take advantage of all three options. And here’s the best news – you can sign up for multiple accounts to use this function! Provide your Instagram account with the ultimate shield!
You could go double barrel and block the account you have reported. Simply follow the steps below:
Step 1: Visit the annoying Instagram user’s profile.
Step 2: Press on the three dots at the top of their profile.
Step 3: Press “Block.”
Step 4: Choose between “Block [insert annoying Instagram spammer’s username] and any new accounts that they may create” or “Block [insert annoying Instagram spammer’s username].”
Congratulations, you can now go on with your life without being pestered by this spam account. And don’t worry, they won’t get notified that you have blocked them.
A highly effective way of reducing spam is to switch your public account to private. However, this isn’t feasible for every user. If you are an Instagram influencer or simply use your Instagram for business purposes, you might not be able to do this. However, if you don’t have hundreds of thousands of followers and want to stop spam, it should reduce spam significantly.
Lastly, you can decide not to engage with these accounts and choose the passive approach. Sooner or later, the spam will stop, and the fakers will get tired of bugging you and switching to someone else.
You should also think about what hashtags you have been using. Fake Instagram accounts tend to go after people who post and include popular hashtags in their posts. For example, if you are a fan of Apple products and use the hashtag often, they might decide you’re a great person to spam with fake apple products and other related scams.
Zero engagement also means that the spammers may target other people through your posts. Tons of Instagram spam comments also reduce your engagement rates, as it is not seen as genuine traffic on your profile. Your best bet remains to use a third-party app like Spam Guard for protection.
We hope our guide on “what does spam on Instagram mean” has helped you understand the concept of spam. It might be helpful for someone struggling with the same thing! Why not share this guide in your Instagram story or with friends?