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How many fake accounts are on social media? Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Tinder data

Reading time3 mins reading
Influencer Marketing
7/25/2022

What is the difference between fake social media accounts and fake influencers? The first case refers to non-existent people and computer bots, and the second involves real users behind the accounts.

Fake influencers buy subscribers to appear more respectable. We've already written about this, and about prices and how much fake followers cost.

unsplash.com
Source: unsplash.com

In this post, we will analyze another case - fake accounts. Unlike fake influencers who are real people, fake accounts can be created by bots for technical or fraudulent purposes. Social networks are trying to stop fake accounts, but they are not always successful.

Twitter sues Elon Musk to force him to complete the acquisition

The topic of the number of fake accounts on social networks has become more relevant after Elon Musk abandoned the deal to buy Twitter. Now the company will complete the acquisition through the court; otherwise, Musk must pay $1 billion in compensation for non-compliance with the contract.

Musk canceled the deal because of his doubts regarding the data provided by the company about the number of fake Twitter accounts. According to the social network, Twitter has no more than 5% of fake accounts.

However, Musk believes the number of fake Twitter accounts could be 20% or more.

The company does not publicly disclose its method of classifying fake or spam accounts. This will likely become the main subject of litigation, which we will see in the near future.

Instagram and Facebook - the same 5%?

Meta, which owns competitor platforms Facebook and Instagram, also estimates that fake accounts represent about 5% of monthly active Facebook users, according to its most recent 2021 fourth quarter data.

In the first quarter of 2022, Facebook took action on 1.6 billion fake accounts, down from 1.7 billion in the previous quarter. In the first quarter of 2019, the social media platform removed a record figure of approximately 2.2 billion fake accounts. Meta considers fake accounts created with malicious intent or represent a business, organization or non-human entity.

TikTok is also taking down fake accounts

Like other social networks, TikTok also actively fights fake accounts. The company's latest report has a fake engagement section, which lists fake followers and fake likes. According to the company, more than 623 million fake followers were removed from January to March 2022.

tiktok.com
Source: tiktok.com

In addition, TikTok has an active policy against posting from suspicious accounts or violating community rules. Fake accounts received particular attention after the beginning of the war in Ukraine. Some media outlets even call Russia's war against Ukraine a TikTok war. We have written in detail about how this war affects social networks.

Are there fake accounts on dating apps too?

Yes, sure. It is necessary to distinguish between profiles behind computer programs and those where people use someone else's photos and information. It is not very pleasant to get acquainted with people who hide behind other people's photos, but still, they are ordinary users. However, according to computer security experts, in dating apps, just like in normal social networks, you can also come across fake profiles created by programs.

NordVPN experts suggest that 1 in 5 online traffic requests are generated by bad bots designed to harm internet users. While it’s hard to tell what percentage of Tinder profiles are bots, we can assume that it isn’t more than 20%. Online scams are growing every year; however, that number will almost certainly grow.

unsplash.com
Source: unsplash.com

Why are fake accounts worse than fake followers?

At first glance, it may seem like we are talking about the same thing. Fake accounts are created so that someone can increase their follower base. In this case, we can say that we are dealing with fake followers. But there are some other cases as well. Sometimes fake spam accounts are hidden by those who are engaged in propaganda, misinformation, or fraud. In that case, fake accounts are created not to increase the subscriber base of aspiring influencers but to affect the audience by spreading unverified or false information. Basically, fake accounts are immediately visible. No real person exists behind them. There are no pictures of people with their friends or children, but many posts about politics and tendentious opinions.

Our top tip is to try to see a real person behind any social media profile to understand who you are dealing with. This is especially important if you are planning an advertising campaign with the help of influencers. If you have any doubts about the authenticity of a particular social media profile - don't hesitate to contact us. The experts at Hypetrain.io will always be happy to assist you.

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