Woman talking(l+r), Target logo(c)

John Hanson Pye/Shutterstock @sincerely.shelbie/Tiktok (Licensed)

‘A direct attack’: Woman tags Target items in her post. She can’t believe what product Instagram auto-tagged her as

‘I’m going to spend the rest of my day crying.’


Rachel Cohen


Everyone wants to feel good when posting a picture on social media. But, when Instagram adds automatic product tags to a post, it can do more damage than good. That was the case for Shelbie, a mom of four, who took to TikTok to share how Target and Instagram did her dirty. 

Shelbie wanted to post a picture that her friend had taken of her at an event. It was a picture she felt confident and cute in. She was tagging where she had bought each piece of her outfit, from her Clothes Mentor Hyde Park top to her Target shoes. 

But a particular Instagram feature led to an unfortunate social media mishap.

Instagram’s new feature

Instagram has a feature that allows creators to add the product they are wearing or using, so their followers can shop for the exact items in the post. These shopping tags can be added to Instagram reels, stories, images, and video posts. According to the Instagram help site, businesses can permit everyone or only approved content partners to tag products. 

Over the past few years, Instagram integrated a feature that uses AI to automatically add a product when a user tags a brand. Brands and companies can edit, remove, or update the tags as they see fit, but until then, they are automatically tagged by Instagram’s AI. 

Automatic tagging gone wrong 

As soon as Shelbie tagged Target among other brands in her post, Target’s automatic product links came up. Not only did a link for a cookbook appear—but Instagram’s AI also tagged her face as Target’s “disguised pig nose” mask. 

In her video, which has garnered over 100,000 views, she says she was “a victim of a horrendous crime.”

Shelbie says she has so many questions as to why that happened. 

One comment had an idea. “More proof AI is here to cause chaos,” they said. 

Shelbie says in the video that the tag felt like a personal attack. “I’m going to spend the rest of my day crying, thank you,” she concludes.

Several commenters hyped up Shelbie but were also caught off guard by the pig nose being tagged.

One viewer wrote,“Literally PRISON omg but that outfit slayed.”

Another said, “I couldn’t have guessed that if you gave me ten million guesses.” 

Can you delete product tags on an Instagram post?

Shelbie clarified that the issue was the fault of Instagram’s AI, not Target as she initially stated.

“Like why?! Now that the shock has wore off I realize I may have misdirected my frustration to target when it’s IG @instagram count your days,” she wrote in a comment.

She also responded to some comments. “I do like my nose – but man this stung a little,” she said, also adding, “Honestly it was worth the humiliation to make everyone laugh.” 

@sincerely.shelbie #greenscreen @target ♬ original sound – sincerely.shelbie

“I’m glad that I’m in a point in my life where I can find the humor in it and find it funny!” she concluded.

To delete a product tag, users can click the edit button on the post, hit the Instagram Shop icon, and then click ‘Tag products.’ From there, users click the tag they want to delete and press the X. 

The Daily Dot has reached out Meta via email regarding its automatic product tagging. 

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