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Photo: Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Instagram will begin offering users the option of using more secure third-party authentication apps, such as Google Authenticator, to log in to Instagram, the service's co-founder and CTO, Mike Krieger, announced Tuesday.

The big picture: The announcement underlines the pressures social media companies are facing to confront misinformation campaigns on their platforms that can weaponize political beliefs to influence politics in the U.S. And it's not just about Russia — in just the last few weeks Twitter, Google, and Facebook alike have unveiled newly discovered misinformation campaigns on their platforms, some of which are linked to Iran.

Why it matters: Instagram already offered SMS two-factor authentication, but that is not always a strong enough security measure to keep hackers out. Earlier this month, Instagram users were reporting they were being hacked, only to discover their account credentials had been replaced with Russian email addresses.

Instagram will also soon add an “About This Account” page, it announced. Users can access this information on others' accounts to determine ads associated with the account, the country the account is located in, and username changes in the last year. This move reflects aspects of the ad transparency initiative Facebook, which owns Instagram, announced in June.

What they’re saying:

“We've been focused on the safety of our platform since the very beginning, and today's updates build upon our existing tools, such as our spam and abusive content filters and the ability to report or block accounts. We know we have more work to do to keep bad actors off Instagram, and we are committed to continuing to build more tools to do just that.”
— Mike Krieger, Co-Founder & CTO of Instagram

Read the blog post here.

Go deeper

"Atmospheric river" swings Northern California from drought to flood

The bomb cyclone and atmospheric river seen via satellite on Sunday. The center of the storm is at the middle of the comma shape, due west of Washington State. (CIRA/RAMMB)

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are delivering historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest from this weekend, forecasters warn.

Why it matters: A strong atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, is predicted to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood.

Mike Allen, author of AM
5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Fauci fires back at Rand Paul for slam on tonight's "Axios on HBO"

Responding to charges by Sen. Rand Paul on Sunday's "Axios on HBO," NIAID director Anthony Fauci told "ABC This Week" that it's "molecularly impossible" for U.S.-funded bat virus research in China to have produced COVID-19.

Why it matters: The issue 0f Wuhan research was reignited on the right last week with a National Institutes of Health letter to Congress disclosing more about the research.

Manchin, Schumer huddle with Biden in Delaware to discuss spending bill

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (left) and Sen. Joe Manchin at the U.S. Capitol in 2014. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) will meet with President Biden and Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Sunday morning in Delaware as Democrats look to reach an agreement on the massive spending measure.

Driving the news: Democrats are still negotiating what to keep in the bill and how to pay for it, with Biden saying on Thursday that the party does not have the votes to raise the corporate tax rate.