Landmark Case Sees Fake Likes/Follows Made Illegal In America

Fake Follows/Likes Are Now Illegal In America

One of the biggest controversies surrounding social media in the last couple of years is that way in which companies have been offering people the means to artificially inflate their accounts. For example, let’s say that I had a Twitter account with 6 followers but wanted to be the next *Insert generic popular pseudo-celebrity here*. With 6 followers, such a task is clearly going to be rather difficult. Particularly if I’m eying up some of that lucrative advertising/sponsorship money.

Some companies, however, could offer me a solution to this. Namely, that for a monetary amount, they could ensure that my figures got a huge boost. Now, these likes or follows would clearly all be from fake accounts. They could, however, potentially lead a sponsor to make a decision based on completely inaccurate figures.

In a landmark legal case in America, however, companies such as Devumi, which offer such services, have now officially been declared illegal.

Landmark Ruling

In a report via NakedSecurity, New York Attorney General Letitia James has ruled that fake follows or likes is deception. As such, any company now offering these services within the US will be liable to legal action and fines. The ruling also confirmed that impersonating celebrities for fake endorsements was also, now, officially illegal.

To put this ruling into context, Devumi is believed to have ‘sold’ 200 million Twitter followers to around 39,000 people and if these were to suddenly be removed, the social media landscape would certainly change quite remarkably. It will, therefore, be interesting to see how the various sites react. We have, of course, already seen something of a purge a couple years ago. It’ll be interesting to see how this develops!

What do you think? Is this the right decision? Should other countries follow suit? Is this practice wrong? – Let us know what you think in the comments!

Mike Sanders

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