Celebrities With the Most Fake Instagram Followers

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With nearly 1.4 billion users globally, Instagram is – ostensibly – one of the most popular social media platforms. However, as with other digital spaces like Twitter and Facebook, Instagram has a problem – 95 million of them by some estimates. That is the conservative estimate of the number of fake accounts using the photo sharing app. 

Over the last decade, Instagram has exploded in popularity, simultaneously evolving into a new medium through which brands can reach new audiences. Companies use Instagram to target and connect with discrete market segments and expand their customer base. One of the most effective ways they do this is through collaborations with so-called influencers. (Here is a look at the world’s most valuable brands.)

Influencers are Instagram users who have built an online presence, typically around a certain topic or niche interest, and drawn in tens of thousands, or even millions, of followers. According to some estimates, influencers with the largest followings can earn tens of thousands of dollars for a single sponsored post. With so much money at stake, many influencers – both aspiring and established – will pay to pad their follower count and make themselves appear more popular than they actually are. This trend has resulted in a proliferation of fake accounts, or bots.

According to a report from the cybersecurity firm Cheq, companies wasted an estimated $1.3 billion in 2019 marketing to these fake accounts. To obfuscate the true purpose of their existence, Instagram bots will often follow well-known celebrity accounts, making them difficult to distinguish from real users. And for many high-profile celebrities themselves, at least one in every four followers is a bot.

To identify the celebrities with the most fake Instagram followers, 24/7 Tempo reviewed data collected by CasinoGuardian, a U.K.-based casino industry news and reviews site. CasinoGuardian compiled information using the Instagram fake follower auditing tool published by the influencer marketing platform Modash.

Unlike their influencer counterparts, these celebrities have, in all likelihood, not paid to drive up their social media following, and are instead being used by bots attempting to appear legitimate.  Also unlike influencers, who have risen to some level of fame through social media alone, the celebrities on this list are musicians, actors, and reality TV personalities – including members of the Kardashian family. (Unlike them, these are celebrities you didn’t know were related.)

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