If you’re not claiming to be famous, normally people couldn’t care less who you say your are on the Internet. In fact, most people actively don’t care. Instagram isn’t in that crowd however. After its recent TOS update, it’s been harassing more and more users to confirm their identities with pictures of government-issued IDs.
The requests seem to have started earlier this week, and have only picked up in frequency. The ID checks are apparently being rolled out to users who are suspected of certain TOS violations. And although they seem sort of scammy, Facebook spokespeople have confirmed this is all legit.
To make matters worse, some forms of ID are being waved off as insufficient, leaving some users stuck in Instagram-limbo while the service asks them for supplemental information. And perhaps the weirdest part of all is that nowhere has Instagram ever required users to use their real names.
While Instagram’s new TOS reserves the right to suspend accounts at will, it doesn’t say anything in particular about government issued IDs. But parent-company Facebook has been known to whip out this trick before, so it’s not entirely surprising Instagram has inherited it And while it’s strange that this is so wide-spread and seemingly random, Instagram is well within its rights to do so, annoying as it may be. [Talking Points Memo]