Social media is an incredibly powerful and meaningful tool for social connection, but as the internet has grown intensely, the world of social media has become a vast hub for far more than life updates and “cute” pictures. Social media is a primary medium for global discussions about business, politics, international news, and it has exploded into a huge advertising and marketing hub. Unfortunately, malicious cyber attacks have also risen exponentially alongside social media’s massive growth. Social media bots have become a phenomenon that cannot go ignored.
Fake accounts, or social media accounts controlled by automated programs, otherwise known as “bots”, are capable of causing significant damage to the billions of social media users, the platforms, and even society. A significant percentage of registered social media accounts across all major platforms are considered to be bots; this poses a real threat to all users out there! Bots are often used to target a bunch of social media accounts, befriending legitimate users in an effort to trick them into gathering valuable information through phishing attacks. Sometimes bots are used to impersonate other accounts, oftentimes celebrities and influencers. When bots successfully impersonate influencers, real harm is caused. Influencer marketing has become a major business with lots of money involved, and when bots infiltrate the partnerships within it they undermine the company as well as the influencer.
It seems that bots just won’t go away. For those who have public social media accounts, bots can access them quite easily, and for those who have private accounts, many users often see spurts of several follow requests from accounts they have no connection to. These accounts often have few or zero posts, suspicious follower/following ratios, and can be spotted easily, but they still flood accounts and can cause serious damage. Additionally, the more sophisticated bots that appear to look more “real” are particularly dangerous because these are the ones that often pull off hacks and phishing scams. There is also an actual business of buying fake followers, and unfortunately, it is very accessible and cheap. 1000 followers can often sell for less than $100! Some people buy a set of fake followers to increase their followers, but this is extremely risky. Social media platforms, especially Instagram and Tik Tok, are cracking down on this issue, and are deleting as many bot accounts as possible, while also banning or limiting accounts that interact with a lot of bots. Bots aim to risk account engagement because they know the social media platforms will ban, shadowban, or severely limit accounts’ engagement levels that are seen to be impacted by bots.
It is extremely important that you do not allow any bots to follow you, or vice versa, because it will result in fake likes, fake comments, and the potential banning or even deletion of your account. At smip, we have created a plethora of solutions to ensure your account does not fall victim to the threat of bots. Through smip’s bot, shadowban, phishing, and impersonator detectors, you will never again have to worry about bots, fake followers, and the extreme damage they can cause to your account, your reputation, or your business. Smip is dedicated to ensuring you and your account’s protection, and we invite you to click here to join the Smip family and start securing your engagement!