Instagram Bug Alerts HootSuite and Buffer Users That Their Accounts Have Been Hacked [Updated]

Using social media is the sort of thing that a lot of people often do in their spare time for fun, but another reason why you might be using a particular social media platform could be because of the fact that you are trying to spread awareness for some kind of content you are creating, product that you are selling or as part of your job.

In situations where you are using social media for marketing and awareness, you might need a social media management tool to help you stay up to date on the numerous platforms that you would need to keep posting on. After all, each type of social network tends to attract a specific kind of audience, so diversifying the platforms you use is the sort of thing that can help you spread your message to as many people as possible.

Social media management tools can make it easier for you to look into this sort of thing because they can disperse your posts across your various social channels with the push of a button. Instead of creating posts individually for each platform you would be able to manage all of your accounts from a single centralized location, something that would definitely make it easier for you to keep all of your followers updated.

While management tools are definitely very important for people that need to look at social media as an important part of the job that they are trying to do, Instagram has accidentally released a warning to a small percentage of its users that using social media automation/scheduling tools such as HootSuite and Buffer might just end up causing more problems than they solve, and the reason for this is that using them could potentially lead to your account being compromised.

Instagram as well as a wide variety of other social media platforms have created rules against the practice of data scraping, and while that has helped reduce instances of scraping among the various tools that can be used with social media it hasn’t completely eradicated the practice entirely. However, Instagram's effort to curb any bad data manipulating practice apparently causing a big trouble for legitimate developers and their users.

A recent report from Business Insider revealed that HootSuite and Buffer are getting shadow banned, although some are getting notifications from Instagram that their accounts are in trouble, while others have no clue why this is happening at the first place.

Instagram sent out a warning to their users stating that using social media management tools could lead to their data being compromised. Since data privacy is a real issue among users of the internet and social media platforms are often accused as the biggest culprits in making user data available to companies and advertisers that are seeking to profit off of them, it is understandable that Instagram would want to crack down on any violators of its rules and terms of usage, especially after the damning recent reports which have resulted in heavy criticism being levied on Instagram for not taking more steps to prevent misuse of user data.

This is the warning notification that Instagram is sending to Buffer and Hootsuite users that their accounts have been compromised

Here's What Affected Users Are Complaining on Social Media

It is important to note that both HootSuite and Buffer have categorically denied their involvement in any bad data practice. It is also notable that Instagram has not banned these tools from their platform, rather they have put the onus on users to avoid using these tools which indicates that further action could yet be taken.

Hootsuite team reached out to Digital Information World and explained that:
Hootsuite has a longstanding, mutually respectful relationship with Instagram, one they’ve been fostering for several years. Hootsuite has a dedicated internal team that oversees all alliance partnerships and communicates with Instagram on a regular basis. Hootsuite has confirmed that they have never engaged in data scraping. All data Hootsuite receives is via the Instagram API and is in-line with Instagram’s Terms of Service. Hootsuite only retrieves data from publicly or privately available APIs provided to them by Instagram. Instagram has provided the following statement for Hootsuite to share with their customers, which has also been posted to their status page. This clearly confirms what has been communicated to date -- that this is a technical issue that the teams are working to resolve: “Thank you for reaching out and we apologize for the poor experience. The Instagram team is actively working to figure out the root issue that may be causing this and is evaluating the best path forward. They are treating this as a high priority and we will communicate updates as we have them.
Instagram alerted Hootsuite that the technical issue has been resolved. Facebook confirmed that some Instagram accounts were blocked in error, including those from Hootsuite users. They’ve since fixed the issue and have apologized for the confusion this may have caused.

Updated on September 25th: Added HootSuite comment.

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