If you are getting tired of websites (reads “robots”) asking you to confirm you are not a robot by clicking on random images of traffic lights, get your selfie camera ready and brace yourself up for a new feature from the metaverse. Instagram by Meta (previously Facebook), might at any time from now require you to record a video of your face, for verification that there is an actual human behind your account.
In a war against bot accounts, which have been known to spam with messages or engineer mass likes and sometimes harass users on various platforms, Instagram started testing video selfies in August of 2020 with a few accounts a year ago. The project seems to have been pulled back at some point, but recently wide reports have emerged from various Instagrammers sighting this feature.
Through their PR team, Instagram confirmed today that they have indeed rolled out this video selfie verification feature as a bot detection mechanism.
“One of the ways we use video selfies is when we think an account could be a bot. For example, if the account likes lots of posts or follows a ton of accounts in a matter of seconds, video selfies help us determine if there’s a real person behind the account or not.”
Attention and countless investigations into the privacy of user data on social media platforms have heightened in recent years, and by design or fate, all Meta-owned applications have been at the center of the heat. Consequently, the big question becomes, where will Instagram take my video selfies if I happen to be one of these accounts?
Instagram states they have a team to review the uploaded videos, which they will delete within 30 days. They also say they do not involve facial recognition, and neither will it be used in identifying faces on the videos. Facebook discontinued a feature of its facial recognition system recently, that they used to automatically identify faces and provide tag suggestions.
A single tweet does not sound like a satisfactory answer to concerns on this video selfie verification feature; I am sure this is true especially to those who prefer to have completely anonymous accounts. Whether it will come back to bite the tail of Zuckerberg’s Metaverse, is a matter of watching out for a possible investigation or sound from the nearest data watchdog.
Because, Facebook, right?