It seems as if now a day everyone throughout the world has some type of social media account. Facebook. Twitter. MySpace. You name it. Grandmas to young kids now know how to browse through these different sites. But how do we know that the person behind the profile is real? Could the profile be fake—someone posing to be another person or a business creating fake users to get followers? How are we supposed to figure out the real from the phony?
We’ve seen it on MTV’s Catfish. People pretend to be someone their not on Facebook, make another person fall in love with them and potentially ruin the relationship they have found themselves in. Seems to be a bit fishy… I don’t know why people hide behind a photo and are afraid to be who they are. When you look around there are so many different ads, books, and websites that influence you be yourself and love the person you are inside and out. No one should be hiding behind the computer screen. Embrace who you are and forget about the fake profile!
Businesses even buy fake followers to help boost their popularity on their social media sites. By getting these high numbers, the account shows an indication of power over other pages and makes you feel like you need to follow the business as well. I get it, you want to get a lot of people to follow you on Twitter and Facebook, but do they really have to buy these followers to achieve it? Social media agencies on the other hand create compelling content to engage current fans and inspire them to share out material. They help to increase a company’s fan volume organically. Why can’t businesses do the same?
It seems as if Turkey has kind of the right idea. The country is cracking down on fake users and banning the opening of “fake” social media accounts. Its government is trying to regulate online activity and attempting to stop various protests that have been going on. Turkish people are using Facebook and Twitter to protest against the government and their Prime Minister believes that social media is the key element to plot against him. He obviously wants to stop this from happening and is doing everything he legally can to do it… Ok, users from Turkey may not be pulling a catfish or try to buy fake follower for a business, but the issue of “fake profiles” is seen everywhere!
Twitter has been really trying to crack down on their fake users as well. There are a couple of apps you can use to figure out who is phony and who is real. Social Baker’s Fake Followers is a tool that will allow you to see if your followers are real, fake, or inactive. I tried it out and it was quite interesting to see how many of my followers were actually fake. Unfortunately, there is no app on Facebook to show us if a friend is fake. However, WikiHow explains a couple of ways to investigate and see if someone is phony. Basically, be aware of who you accept as a friend, read their profile, see who their friends are and be alert for instances when they may post something weird. It’s up to you to figure out who is real and fake throughout these sites. Check it out and see how many of your friends or followers aren’t real!