Instagram Precise Location: Viral Posts Spreading Misinformation Lead to Meme-Fest, Company Clarifies

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Instagram has clarified that it does not share location with others and uses ‘precise location’ for things like location tags as well as map features. The Meta-owned company’s response came after a number of accounts had shared a message claiming that an update from Instagram might allow iPhone users’ followers to know their exact location. The message, as expected, was widely praised for making people aware of the threats that they might get due to the availability of their exact location. However, it turns out to be misinformation and suggests exactly how ill-informed social media users could be.

Instagram Precise Location on iPhone

While the origin of this misinformation (Instagram calls it ‘meme’) is not known, a message spread widely on the photo and video sharing platform suggesting that iPhone users are at a risk of exposing their ‘EXACT location’ to their Instagram followers that could lead criminals to commit theft and help stalkers. The message read that if a user tags the place on their post, their exact location (vs. broader location) will be shared with their followers.

Instagram came out with a response clearing the air over the matter. The Meta-owned platform claimed that it does not share a user’s location with others. It works just like other social media companies and “we use precise location for things like location tags and maps features.” It also says that users have the authority to manage Location Services via their device settings. However, it is to be noted that you might not be able to enjoy the experience you have right now.

Consider a scenario where you have gone to an awesome resort with a great, peaceful atmosphere and you want to brag about your find on your social media handles. You just take out your phone, click an image, search for the resort’s name, tag it, and tap share. People will know exactly which resort you are in and might want to explore more about it. This is only possible because you allowed Instagram to access your exact location. This can be done on both iOS and Android.

It is the same feature that allows you to book your Uber and Ola cabs. The same feature helps you reach a destination precisely. And it is totally opt-in. You don’t want to share your location, fine, don’t share it. But then you won’t be able to tag and brag about that awesome resort you visited, or the great restaurant you went to with your pals this weekend.

The above ‘meme-fest’ could be another example of misinformation being spread without any substantiated evidence. While it is true that Instagram, and many other apps access your precise location, it comes with a bunch of other things. It is wrong to add false information to a fact and then spread fear in the community.

We have reached out to Instagram seeking further clarifications on the same and also how it handles such cases. We will update the story once we get a response from the company.


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