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Scam of fake followers of Social Media

Mumbai Police started tracking down social media pages

Now after Mumbai Police has began keeping eyes on  social media pages of high-profile personalities concerning fake and paid followers, they're likely to question celebrities on an equivalent. As per the news reports, Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Deepika Padukone are among the eight other top Bollywood personalities who are likely to be interrogated by the Mumbai Police. The high-profile people also include builders and sportspersons alongside Bollywood celebs.

A few days ago, singer Bhumi Trivedi lodged a complaint to the police after she found a few fake profiles created in her name. An imposter created a fake Instagram page of the singer and chatted with people. Moreover, the fraudster also kept the screenshot of the chats and showed it to people to enhance followers.

Reports have it, Mumbai Police found that as many as 176 high-profile people, including some Bollywood celebrities and sportspersons, allegedly paid money to induce followers.

A Glimpse on Social Media

Social media has been huge a part of our lives. It’s used in everything, and it’s everywhere. It is a social media business modal to advertise the product and brand, celebrities, retail brands, etc. The world population is 7.3 billion and therefore the Internet has 3.17 billion users. With these types of numbers, every type of users will undoubtedly be subjected to some type of social media trolling during their usage. Trolls, who create conflict on social media sites by making controversial statements to cause havoc, are often found in almost every corner of the online. They can create problems for people, businesses, and the general well-being of some aspects of social media.

Social Media Business Model

It is a platform for advertising our product and brands. An individual or organization with many social media followers are often seen as important or influential, they're in high demand and advertising cost is expensive. it's being said that such followers aren't genuine. Followers are being purchased by status people

What are Fake Followers?

Fakes followers are called Ghost followers or inactive followers, also mentioned as ghosts and ghost accounts or lurkers are users on social media platforms who remain inactive or don't engage in the activity. They register on platforms like Twitter and Instagram. These users follow active members, but don't partake in liking, commenting, messaging, and posting.

About BOTS

Social media bots are algorithms, pieces of software that use AI to automate tasks and carry conversations with humans, to assist them. they will help in building stronger relationships with customers by delivering targeted content and anticipating user reactions.

A primary use case of social media bots is to spice up the apparent popularity of other accounts. These follower bots are often bought and sold on the black market, with more convincing bots fetching a better price.

Social media bots also can be wont to influence financial markets. for instance, bot accounts can flood social media with the product or bad news a few corporations, to control the direction of stock prices. Fake social media followers and social engagement can help convince a victim that their scammer is often trusted.

This bots are often used for unfair advertising purposes by spamming the social web with links to commercial websites. It’s tough to pinpoint exactly what percentage social media accounts are bot accounts since numerous of the bots are designed to mimic human accounts. In many cases, humans cannot tell bot accounts aside from legitimate human accounts.

Back in the day on Facebook, the metric was ‘friends’ and so celebrities and brands went overboard in maximizing that. The ecosystem of fake profile generation was a result of it. The emphasis on these metrics and how the platforms’ own algorithms incentivize a larger number is the motivation for the mad rush (for followers)," said Karthik Nagarajan, chief content officer at media agency Wavemaker India. “We are going through a strange phase in art where it is not just enough for an independent artist to be great at his or her craft. He or she needs to be a great social media marketer as well. Some artists are able to de-prioritize vanity in metrics and some live and die by it."

It is being said that influencer marketing has become a significant part of digital marketing for legitimate movie or music marketing campaigns where views and likes may be bought for a film or its trailer or songs, a process that is linked to spreading the word, increasing the popularity and familiarity of the film which may or may not help in revenue generation though the hope is that it does.

“It becomes problematic when an influencer or celebrity attracts brands based on their fan following, which determines the revenues payable to the influencer. If such fan following is not organically grown, then it can amount to being illegal and unethical,"

Interpretation of cases this way is the only means for a celebrity to be booked on certain charges of fraud or cheating under the Indian Penal Code. Otherwise, there are no real legal implications of purchasing followers, likes or views because to think of it, the celebrity in question isn’t harming anyone.

“There are several small organizations and individuals creating bot accounts for as much as 5-10 paise per bot. It is simply seen as easy means to make money," Pranav Nair, assistant vice-president, media at Monk Media Network said. Nair added that it is easy for social media platforms to detect fake accounts based on the fact that there is no real activity or engagement coming from them, even for the celebrities they follow or that they have no followers themselves. However, some people can easily circumvent this by uploading fake pictures from the web, plus the platforms are swamped with user activity on a daily basis to really keep track.

“Inauthentic activity has no place on Instagram. It's really important to us that the interactions people have on the platform are genuine, and we're working hard to keep the community free from spammy behaviour. Services that offer to boost an account's popularity via inauthentic likes, comments and followers, aren't allowed as per our community guidelines," a Facebook spokesperson said.

In November 2018, Instagram had said it would begin removing inauthentic likes, follows and comments from accounts that use third-party apps to boost their popularity. The company has built machine-learning tools to help identify accounts that use these services and remove the inauthentic activity.

YouTube and Twitter did not respond to Mint’s queries. But the latter’s platform guidelines, as outlined in a blog posted in September 2019, prohibit selling or purchasing tweet or account metric inflation, including followers or engagements, (retweets, likes, mentions, Twitter poll votes) or using or promoting third-party services or apps that claim to add followers or engagements to tweets.