Recently there are reports circulating about certain Instagram and Facebook users who are finding themselves locked out of their accounts for violating the ToS associated with each site. Before being allowed back into their accounts, these people are being asked to upload an image of a government issued photo ID before being allowed back onto the site.
According to those who have been asked to provide an ID, not all forms of identification have been accepted by the two sites and those people are being asked to provide a copy of their birth certificate before regaining control over their account. Many are confused about whether these requests are legitimate or if it is the work of a knowledgeable phisher.
A spokesman for Facebook, which owns both sites, said, “Instagram occasionally removes accounts due to violation of terms and, depending on the violation, may ask people to upload IDs for verification purposes.”
Instagram just updated its ToS on January 19th. While it can be understood why Facebook would verify a user’s identity as it requires account holders to use their real names, there is no such requirement for Instagram which makes the demand for ID a bit puzzling for users of that site. The photo sharing social network might eventually join Facebook and request account holders to use their real names, but for now it is not a requirement for Instagram.