So Fake? List of mega influencers with fake followers hit the internet!

Instagram and Twitter are two of the most active social media platforms ever. Yet there’s always a revelation that proves that all that glitters on the internet isn’t gold. A new list has been buzzing all weekend — and it’s shocking. It turns out most, if not all, mega influencers have almost 50% fake followers! Yes, from Cristiano Ronaldo to the Kardashians and even Ellen Degeneres!


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Wait what? Fake followers for the top-notch ones too?

The topic of influencer fraud has been buzzing in the last couple of weeks.

First, it was reported that brands were losing some $1.3 billion to influencer marketing due to fake following — and now this.

Until now, fake following was often associated to rising micro and macro influencers. But it looks like the mega ones we had trust in also have an element — in fact, a huge margin of bot following too.

Research by the United Kingdom’s Institute of Contemporary Music Performance (ICMP) has revealed that 100 top celebrity influencers on social media are taking glory from sham accounts. For Showbiz, Ellen Degeneres 75.7 million–took the top spot, with over 58% of unreal followers.

For sport influencers, Real Madrid star Toni Kroos came first with 51% of his 21M+ followers being bots.

“Kim Kardashian, Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, Rihanna and more make the list. Surprisingly, Lionel Messi escapes it”


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In fact, the top ten percentages of fake followers consist of all the people you could think of. Take a look!

Top ten according to actual fake follower count. Source: Icmp UK


Top ten according to percentage of fake followers. Source: Icmp UK
What method was used to find this out?

The ICMP also disclosed the methodology used in arriving at these figures.

“We took various ‘most successful’ and ‘most followed’ lists to build our list of celebrities across acting, sport, music, and tv personalities”, they explained.

“We then filtered this by the number of followers to give ourself a top 100 most followed list…  then ran their Instagram and Twitter handles through IG Audit and Sparktoro’s fake Twitter follower’s tool to measure what percentage of their following was actually real,” their website further read.

So Fake? List of mega influencers with fake followers hit the internet!

So far, the issue has been far from black and white.

Celebrities have long been accused of hiring companies that enlist bots to follow their accounts, boosting their follow count and their value as influencers. However, most of them deny these allegations every time.

They claim that these bot companies target them without their approval, and that they have no idea about these scam accounts. A similar explanation was given by German influencer, Cathy Hummels, who was accused of buying over 200,000 likes in a month.

Moreover, President of the United States, Donald Trump, reported himself in April to Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s CEO, following a spike in his Twitter following.

According to Digital Information World, there are over “28.9 percent of bad bots still roaming around the web without anyone’s knowledge”, and these bots can ” can easily hack passwords and security information and can even spread viruses too.”


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It’s high time these bots are cracked, don’t you think?

RELATED: Fake followers would cost brands over $1.3 billion this year!

Amanda Lucy


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