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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.

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Biden holds first phone call with Putin, raises Navalny arrest

Putin takes a call in 2017. Photo: Handout/Anadolu Agency/Getty

President Biden on Tuesday held his first call since taking office with Vladimir Putin, pressing the Russian president on the arrest of opposition leader Alexey Navalny and the Russia-linked hack on U.S. government agencies.

The state of play: Biden also raised arms control, bounties allegedly placed on U.S. troops in Afghanistan and the war in Ukraine, according to a White House readout. The statement said Biden and Putin agreed maintain "consistent communication," and that Biden stressed the U.S. would "act firmly in defense of its national interests in response to actions by Russia that harm us or our allies."

Biden signs racial equity executive orders

Joe Biden prays at Grace Lutheran Church in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on September 3, 2020, in the aftermath of the police shooting of Jacob Blake. PHOTO: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President Joe Biden on Tuesday signed executive orders on housing and ending the Justice Department's use of private prisons as part of what the White House is calling his “racial equity agenda.”

The big picture: Biden needs the support of Congress to push through police reform or new voting rights legislation. The executive orders serve as his down payment to immediately address systemic racism while he focuses on the pandemic.