Black’s Beach (and Instagram’s spam problem)

Some cellphone photos from yesterday’s walk at Black’s Beach. Fred and I hiked down the 250-something stairs from the Torrey Pines Gliderport and walked all the way out to Flat Rock. We also peeked into the cool-looking, erosion-shaped canyons where water is gushing down from the Torrey Pines mesa during and after storms, but they’re all rather overgrown and/or messy.

It is remarkable how very different the “official” northern part of Torrey Pines State Beach and the southern part are: there are hardly any people on the southern, Black’s Beach side (except for some old men in the nude, which seems to be kind-of tolerated there, out of history), but at Flat Rock, it’s basically a zoo: so many people! They all walk in from Torrey Pines State Beach north. Maybe it’s a good thing that old naked men made Black’s Beach their territory? 😉

I posted the “Area closed, Nudity prohibited” photo on Instagram, and for whatever reason, it became a total magnet for the super-annoying “get 5000 free followers!” type of comment spam (it’s really difficult to accept just how naive, stupid and desperate people are that participate in these get-followers schemes). I reported something like 8-10 accounts for spamming, and reported and deleted the comments as well, but it became so annoying that ultimately, I deleted the photo from Instagram altogether, and then uploaded it again, without any location and hashtags.

Instagram Spam Comments
Instagram Spam Comments. These are the last five, before I deleted the photo that attracted them.

Some 10 or 15 years ago, the first Bayes filter plugins became available for traditional desktop email clients, and after a surprisingly short training period, they reliably detected and classified spam as such. Maybe someone at Instagram should look into that stuff. Good grief.

GMail’s spam filter has some false positives every now and then (I check my old GMail account once or twice a month, it’s set to forward everything to my mailbox.org account, but spam obviously doesn’t get forwarded). WordPress has the “Akismet” plugin for self-hosted sites and it most reliably detects both comment and contact-form/feedback spam. Most email services and clients are pretty good at detecting spam, and moving it out of view.

I don’t understand why Instagram can’t get a grip on it. It almost seems like they don’t want to, because most of the “get followers free” methods are really “follow a lot of people and hope they’ll follow back, then unfollow them” and nothing else – and connections are pretty much the backbone of every social network.

This morning, I was close to deleting my Instagram account, because this stupid spam problem has annoyed me so much during my last couple of posts to Instagram. I wonder if this is really the user experience that Instagram wants to create.

Most recently, I’ve removed the Twitter app from my phone because they’re crazy with the amount of promoted tweets and ads – and I love Twitter (but I’m only using it from the desktop now). I most certainly don’t love Instagram as much as Twitter, and if Instagram doesn’t fix this comment spam problem soon, they’ll be next (and I won’t be using it from the desktop, obviously!). I want to get notifications when friends comment, but I have better things to do than looking at stupid spam. Fix it, Instagram.


All images and content © by Alexander S. Kunz, unless otherwise noted. No re-use without express written permission. Most images are available as prints and for commercial licensing. Please contact me if you’re interested. Prints and licensed images are NOT watermarked, of course.

Strictly non-commercial usage (ie. no monetization through ads, referral systems etc.) on private blogs and websites is allowed if proper credit and a back-link are provided in the form of “Photo by Alexander S. Kunz – www.alex-kunz.com“. Thanks!

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2 Comments

  1. I have to agree with you that there is something about Instagram that makes Fb not want to sink as many resources into anti spam endeavors as other networks. I doubt that it is simply that they haven’t been able to figure it out yet, or that the volume is too high to manage. Maybe that is how they’ll spin the upcoming timeline algorithms and post boosting etc – a push to eliminate spam?

    Like

  2. Pingback: Instaspam – imho

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