Over the past few weeks, Instagram has begun asking its users to supply photo identification for their accounts. This is part of the verified account initiative that Facebook, Instagram’s parent company, has been actively enacting throughout its appendage companies. Facebook bought Instagram in February of 2012.
Instagram is a photo sharing site, so there should be no shortage of photos available for its users to submit a photo as ID. Instagram and Facebook bot allow users to show public-facing pseudonyms, keeping their personal information hidden. Originally, Instagram was targeting people with a real looking name, but they have subsequently begun asking more and more members to show a photo as identification.
A spokesperson for Instagram has confirmed that these requests are sanctioned by Instagram, but spoke in vague generalities when asked why they were implementing the new requirement. He said that the requests for photo ID are a “general practice” to determine if a violation has taken place.
Just what violation could have happened was not released, and users are left to wonder what happened to make Instagram so cautious. One possibly is that some users have many accounts under different names, but they are all run by the same person for monetary gain. These people are abusing the site, and are being taken off of it.
This comes as a nuisance to many Instagram users, who have recently begrudgingly accepted Instagram’s new change of their terms of service agreement. Both this change and the recent enforcement of photo IDs would be a lot easier to deal with if the members were given an adequate explanation of why these things are happening. As it is now, Instagram seems to be taking its members for granted, and should consider releasing a from statement explaining their recent actions.