Trust Scores Explained

To get a better understanding of how Instagram discerns bots from real people, it is easier to envision that segment of the algorithm as a scale. There are two categories of variables: existential and behavioral. Existential variables can be viewed as “innate” factors, components that have little to do with the actions you take on Instagram but the account itself. Whereas behavioral variables focus solely on the observable activity any given account engages in. The existential and behavioral characteristics of every account continuously transmit data to the algorithm. The algorithm then analyzes and interprets that data, which in turn manifests something resemblant of a “trust score”. Said trust score dictates the degree of vigilance the algorithm must observe with any given account. The lower an account’s score is, the faster the algorithm will enact a punishment or block as soon as it detects sketchy activity.

Each of the aforementioned variables play a role in guiding the script to assign a specific score. That trust score is then used to place an account somewhere on the hypothetical spectrum of “real-ness”. It’s safe to say that some variables warrant a higher magnitude of influence over the rating than others, forming almost like a hierarchical structure if you will. For example, parameter settings trump all variables in terms of authority if programmed ridiculously. You can have the best existential characteristics across the board but if you try to follow a thousand people in the span of five seconds, Instagram will know. Obviously, a human is incapable of manually following that many people in such a short amount of time. The algorithm will latch on to that and even if the account is not instantly disabled, its rating will be forever tarnished in the eyes of the all-seeing algo. It will be subject to scrupulous surveillance until the end of its days, with each misstep eliciting a progressively harsher penalty until the inevitable ban. That is why it’s imperative to remain under Instagram’s radar at all costs by ensuring each variable is set up to evoke the least amount of attention. Said variables consisting of the following:

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