Bots and Fake Likes are Crippling Genuine Social Media Influencers

A spectre of bought likes and malicious bots is currently on the rise and threatening to stop the industry of social media influencers in its ranks. A few sly entrepreneurs all over the world are using automated bots and other suspicious shortcuts to garner a following on the internet and promoting various products. They affect the opinion of the public negatively and often project a false picture.

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With big names in the travel, tourism and fashion industries vying for more appearance on social media platforms, an unlikely profession of social media influencers propped up a few years ago. They mostly create original articles and engaging blogs that help attract the attention of potential buyers.

The exponential rise of these online bots has been possible mainly because of the race amongst competitors in different fields of work. They regularly come up with ways of bypassing any new algorithm designed to tighten the noose around these fraudulent firms.

Fake firms are catering to the needs of various clients hungry for publicity, and they are more visible in countries of Eastern Europe and Asian countries like China, Bangladesh, Philippines and India. In 2016, two of the major social media sites, Facebook and Twitter reported a total of 100 million bots of similar kinds and both had active users of such methods.

Sivarama Krishnan, leader of cybersecurity in PwC, said, “The fact is that a third of bots are of Indian origin. Clients are hiring us to check if the digital spend provides value or not”.

These programs while increasing the social presence of a brand can also influence the common public consensus on issues that have serious consequences.

There some sites with taglines like “Our package start right away from 1,000 to 500,000 (followers and retweets)”. Small-scale businesses functioning locally find these lucrative as they help in fostering views, albeit fake.

However, an interaction based on genuine engagement is much more fruitful and long-lasting, as opined by Shereen Sikka Bharwani, a travel and luxury blogger.

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