Instagram, the photo-sharing service, has completed the mass deletion of millions of accounts that were marked as posting spam, angering many legitimate users who have lost many followers as a result.
The site-wide purge has been dubbed the "Instagram Rapture" by people who lost a large number of followers. Instagram (which is owned by Facebook) had previously warned users of its service that the account deletions would be occurring this month (December 2014):
We've been deactivating spammy accounts from Instagram on an ongoing basis to improve your experience...
Many high-profile accounts lost a high number of followers, with Justin Bieber losing just over three and a half million followers, whilst Instagram's own account ironically lost the most followers, losing over 18 million.
Some users were unhappy at the loss of so many followers, for example video blogger Jamie Curry, who tweeted:
Instagram, like many popular online services, is a large target of spam, so it is no surprise that they are trying to cut down on it significantly.
The company has a strict set of Community Guidelines, which includes refraining from posting spam messages to other users in the comments section of photos uploaded. The users were (presumably) identified on the back of this.
Instagram's effort this month will hopefully keep spam down in the future, and provide a better experience for its users.
Source: BBC News | Image: CNET