It’s 2018, people. Stop trying to fake out fame with fake followers on social media!
First of all, no one believes that those followers are real. In fact, there are many total giveaways that indicate such an online squad is fake AF.
Second of all, fake followers ultimately just hurt… you. Be it money or time spent, fake followers aren’t free and no one believes that some bot just randomly infused your count with these types of accounts. Also, fake followers don’t convert. A bot can’t buy your clips, and a dummy account doesn’t have a credit card.
Some may say that the contrived action stirred by fake followers plants a seed of FOMO in your real fans, but that’s iffy at best. Humans using social media can tell when following you is actually just an elaborate trick. Now, some people don’t care – just like some people don’t care that the 43 horny babes in their area looking to talk to them now are bots – but that’s a small pool of people.
Though the fake follower tactic may have worked back in 2012, it doesn’t anymore. It’s time to stop — and if you don’t, Insta and Twitter and such will stop for you.
Social Media Purges Keep Platforms Valuable… for Advertisers
According to the New York Times, back in July, Twitter removed tens of millions of suspicious accounts from users’ followers, after “mounting skepticism from advertisers and users about the accuracy of the company’s most visible measure of popularity” — followers, or users. Meaning, people who pay money to get their brands’ visibility on Twitter were getting miffed about the fact that so much of their “visibility” was being spent on bots and other fakers. Reasonable, IMO.
The Times reportedly tracked 3,000 accounts and noted their pre- and post-purge numbers. Actual numbers varied widely, and the percentage of total followers figure was illuminating. Here are just a few: Donald Trump lost 307,606 (0.58 percent), while Barack Obama lost 2,344,375 (2.26 percent). Nicki Minaj lost 1,221,911 (5.71 percent), and Kendall Jenner lost 525,523 (1.95 percent). Justin Bieber lost 2,683,411 (2.51 percent).
The Times noted that “just because an account’s follower count dropped [in the July purge] doesn’t mean the user bought fake followers. Suspicious accounts are known to follow some of the most popular accounts to make them look more authentic.” I can believe this too – and though there are certainly many very popular influencer-level personalities in our industry, these accounts are more the exception than the rule. Meaning, if you’re Stormy Daniels or Lisa Ann this may apply to you, but not otherwise.
We’ll punish the app – and you!
Automated apps that leave spammy comments, fake likes and follow/unfollow accounts in hopes of growing user numbers are nothing new. And though they often claim not to violate platforms’ terms of service and community guidelines, they do. Some of the most popular bot apps for growing followers have been shut down, but others — Archie, InstarocketProX and Boostio for instance — are alive and kicking, charging $10 to $45 per month.
In the case of Insta’s most recent initiative, the app acknowledged that some people may have unknowingly shared their login credentials with a third-party app. In that case, Insta suggested: “If you receive an in-app message, simply change your password to revoke their access to your account.”
Sex Workers on Social Media Have a Different Set of Rules
According to TechCrunch, this renewed vigor for policy enforcement comes amidst the continuing threat of foreign misinformation campaigns designed to polarize communities and influence elections — but that’s not what I’m concerned about here. As a sex worker utilizing social media, daring-how-dare-you to cultivate a public persona like everyone else, pearl-clutching social media platforms have for you a different set of rules.
Follower counts on social media have become measures of people’s influence, credibility and earning potential, even for “nanoinfluencers” with as few as one thousand followers. With this in mind, the rationale (however foolish) behind using any or all of these types of automated apps comes clear. But given that these income streams aren’t even available to member of our community due to sex worker discrimination, the need to focus on the real people who actually pay for your work comes clear.
Erika Chan is a sex positive people watcher (and writer). Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.