Fake Instagram Accounts – Are They Legal?
Having a fake social media account can be for good reasons. Imagine you want to post on Instagram something that could be totally legal, but also could be provocative, and you do not want friends and family and work mates knowing that it is YOU behind the posts.
Maybe you are a teenager talking about bullying at school, and you do not want those same bullies knowing it is you writing the articles.
Now, as a consequence, many of those teenagers can create multiple accounts on social media platforms, aimed at different audiences—not just for privacy, but also for future employability and their own protection.
On Instagram, these digital double identities reflected through Rinsta and Finsta accounts. A Finsta is a “fake” Instagram account. The best way to understand its use is to compare it to a Rinsta, or “real” account.
A Rinsta account is the one a stranger would find if they look you up online. Often linked to the user’s first and last name, such accounts tend to be more easily searchable. If a potential employer or someone on a college admissions committee Googles you, the Rinsta account would likely appear in their search results.
Is it Easy to Make Fake Instagram Accounts?
A social media experiment revealed how simple it is to create fake Instagram accounts for making money.
Marketing Agency Mediakix created two ‘influencer’ accounts using purchased followers and comments, and managed to secure four paid brand deals.
The organisation constructed a “lifestyle and fashion-centric Instagram model” and “a travel and adventure photographer.”
They take photographs of one girl in multiple locations during a one-day photo shoot to depict calibeachgirl310.
They created the latter called wanderingggirl using exclusively free stock images of popular, scenic destinations like Paris and Maui. and used stock images of young blonde women photographed in different travel destinations.
The next step involves ensuring the pages appeared as though it were updated regularly, and they did this with daily posts from the Instagram accounts.
They bought 1,000 “followers” per day from websites selling fake Instagram accounts, and when Instagram failed to detect the practice, they started buying 15,000 at a time – with a price range of $3 to $8 (£2 – £6) per 1,000.
Eventually, the accounts had amassed a collective 80,000 followers (30,000 for the travel account and 50,000 for the fashion account), and MediaWiki were able to move on to simulating engagement.
“Once we had accumulated a few thousand followers for each account, we started buying likes and comments. We paid around 12 (£0.09) cents per comment, and between $4-9 (£3 to £7) per 1,000 likes. On the lower end of that price range, it took around 24 hours for the likes to appear, whereas, the higher end of that price range delivers results instantly. ”
The Instagram accounts sign up to marketing platforms, where they were able to pick up four sponsorship deals.
“The fashion account secured one deal with a swimsuit company and one with a national food and beverage company.
“The travel account secured brand deals with an alcohol brand and the same national food and beverage Company. For each campaign, the ‘infuencers’ receive monetary compensation, free product, or both.”
“Instagrammers with completely or partially fake followings and/or engagement present advertisers with a unique form of ad fraud that’s becoming more and more commonplace and could be siphoning tens of millions of dollars from brands,” Mediakix writes in a different post.
Influencer marketing – the use of social media product placement – is a relatively new strategy, Mediakix says, used to “organically target an engaged audience and increase brand awareness.”
Some of the world’s biggest celebrities, including Kendall Jenner, Katy Perry and Justin Bieber have all been accused of inflating their social media presence through the purchasing of followers.