Celebs Who Were Caught with Fake Followers on Social Media
Like the big social media purges of the past, the 2018 Twitter Purge revealed that there are still numerous celebrities, politicians, and influencers who had fake followers. Nearly 7.5 million accounts were deleted in the elimination of fake and locked accounts.
The Great Instagram Purge of 2014 revealed that there are a LOT of 'grammers with fake followers, among them some of your favorite celebs. A similar thing happened to Twitter in 2012, when a study showed that an overwhelming amount of celebrities had fake twitter followers. Who knew so many stars were shelling out for a bigger "audience?"
Some celebrities who have fake Twitter and Instagram followers are completely unexpected, too. Sure, it's easy to believe that Kim Kardashian paid for a few million extra followers, but Oprah?! Even POTUS himself, Barack Obama, isn't 100% clean. Say it isn't so! Here are the biggest celebrities who have fake social media followers. Who surprises you the most?
- Photo: Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0
In 2017, President Donald Trump had nearly 31 million followers on Twitter, but only half of them are actual people. According to Newsweek, an audit of Trump's Twitter followers showed that slightly more than 15 million followers are actually bots and fake accounts. The assessment was done by Twitter Audit, an online service that runs the authenticity of Twitter handles.
In 2018, Trump lost 300,000 users following a purge of locked accounts, bringing his total follower count as of July 2018 to 53.07 million.
- Photo: gafa kassim / Flickr
Kim Kardashian is one of the most-followed celebrities of all time — her Instagram following alone includes over 73 MILLION devoted fans, waiting with bated breath for the next nude selfie. In 2014, though, Instagram revealed that the reality TV star was (kind of) faking it.
She lost 1.3 million, or 5%, of her followers overnight when Instagram purged all fake user accounts. Money can't buy everything, Kim!
- Photo: proacguy1 / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 2.0
Lady Gaga's Twitter account was one that was hit the hardest in the 2018 Twitter purge. The performer lost 2.51 million of her Little Monsters, or as Twitter viewed them, fake or locked users.
- Photo: JennaClare / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 2.0
Twitter decided to shake off a bunch of Taylor Swift's Twitter followers in the 2018 purge. The pop singer went from 85.57 followers to 83.24 million followers in one day. At least Swifties can rest assured there are far less bots spamming their queen.
- Photo: Alexandria K Passe / Flickr
Rihanna, or @badgalriri as she's known on Instagram, has had her ups and downs with the social media giant. Her risqué pictures even led to a deleted account at one point, but now she's back on Insta and has nearly 40 million followers. It's doubtful that all those followers are real, though—when Instagram deleted is fake user accounts back in 2014, Riri lost a whopping 1.2 million followers. Ouch.
In the Twitter Purge of 2018, Rihanna lost roughly 2.5 million followers, or 2.5% of her entire following. Her account sat at 86.76 million followers post-purge.
- Photo: Devon Christopher Adams / Flickr
When Statuspeople.com audited Katy Perry's Instagram followers in 2013, they found that a giant 46% of them were actually fake accounts—and another 40% were totally inactive. Mega-embarrassing. Katy didn't learn her lesson though; just a year later she was outed for having nearly 300,000 fake Insta followers too.
In 2018, her Twitter following shrank by 2.8 million followers in a fake-user purge.