Instagram is a popular photo-sharing application with around 700 million active users, according to Statista. That’s more than double the population of Canada. Some of these people have resorted to faking instagram likes in order to get more attention on their posts and make themselves seem more popular. But is it ethical? The truth might surprise you.
What are likes?
Likes are a way for other Instagram users to tell the original poster that they appreciate or enjoy their content. A user’s post will show the total number of likes it has received, and that number can be sorted and filtered according to different parameters. For example, one can search for a post with more than a thousand likes that were given in the last week. There’s also the “top posts” page which displays popular posts with the most likes at any given time.
What are followers?
Followers are users who have chosen to receive notifications whenever their favourite Instagram user publishes something new. Followers can also see their favourite user’s Instagram posts in their home feed, just like any other user.
How to tell if a user has bought followers?
A follower is a user who has deliberately chosen to follow another account. So if you pay for followers, the users appear genuine and likely have been picked out from millions of profiles through an analysis of the users’ interests or some other algorithm. The accounts might even be real humans with authentic photo IDs that prove they are real people with real interests and hobbies.
On the other hand, if you buy Instagram likes, you’re just paying for a service that posts automated likes to your photos. These are bots that simulate real users and come with no guarantee of their authenticity or identity. You might not even know who these followers are or what they like about your profile. The point is that when you buy fake likes, there’s no guarantee of their authenticity or whether they’ll ever be active users on your profile again.
What are the ethics of buying fake followers and likes?
One might ask how buying fake followers and likes is any different from something like paying for more Facebook ads. It’s very true that, in many ways, it’s not wrong to buy followers. If nothing else, it can make you look popular in front of your friends who don’t know the truth behind the numbers. In fact, some people don’t even realize that buying followers is illegal.
The problem is that there’s no real way for you to tell which users are real and which ones are fake. It’s not possible for a user to prove that a follower or a like was given by one of his friends because users aren’t required to use their real name on the app. Some of them even go as far as using secret accounts and IDs.