Instagram’s video selfie verification feature can be easily tricked with a Barbie doll

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Instagram’s video selfie verification feature can be easily tricked with a Barbie doll
Instagram has started asking users to verify their identity with video selfies.Unsplash
  • Instagram has started asking users to verify their identity through video selfies.
  • This feature is aimed at tackling bots and fake accounts on Instagram.
  • But it looks like the face verification system isn’t very smart.
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Instagram wants to tackle fake profiles and bots through video selfies to verify accounts. This feature, as the name suggests, will require new users to verify their identity by taking a short selfie video. Instagram will then analyse the video to determine if you are a real person. This sounds like an effective way to deal with fake accounts but it looks like Instagram’s face detection system isn’t very smart yet.

In a video shared by Alexander Chalkidis on YouTube, Instagram’s video selfie feature is seen being easily fooled by a Barbie doll. Chalkidis demonstrated using a Barbie doll for the selfie video where you basically have to move your face slowly in different directions to verify your identity. Once the video was recorded, Chalkidis submitted the video and Instagram verified it proving that Instagram’s face detection system can be fooled easily.


Instagram also doesn’t take into account the gender of the account. This was tried again with a Barbie Ken doll and Instagram was successfully fooled again. It looks like there are still many loopholes with Instagram’s video selfie verification. This isn’t the first time Instagram introduced this feature. Last year when it launched video selfie verification, users complained that the app couldn’t verify their identity.
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The video selfie verification is a way for Instagram to tackle bot or fake accounts on the platform. If Instagram suspects a possible bot account that “likes lots of posts or follows a ton of accounts in a matter of seconds”, then it could be asked to verify through this feature. Instagram also said that its teams review video selfies, and that the videos are deleted within 30 days. But more than privacy, Instagram should probably focus on making the system smarter.

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