In a world where everything is digital, “likes” and “followers” is the only family you have. As influencersand celebrities strive for ever-higher engagement numbers, the conflict between fake followers and fake-follower-detection tools is spiralingout to be a big one. Mumbai Police, as a part of their investigation on the paid and fake followers on social media, will soon be questioning Bollywood’s A-List celebrities, including DeepikaPadukone, Priyanka Chopra amongst others.  Mumbai police have found out that there are various studies done by various well-known organisations which have recorded that DeepikaPadukone and Priyanka Chopra are among the top 10 celebrities who have fake followers.                

The Mega Scam

The investigation in the fake followers came into being following a complaint raised by Bollywood playback singer Bhoomi Trivedi. Bhoomi had approached police earlier in July after an unknown person/s allegedly created her fake profile on Instagram.

As per the latest media reports, there are nearly 176 high profile accounts which reportedly include Bollywood celebrities, sports personalities and Builders among the high-profile people who reportedly will be quizzed by the Mumbai police. While it’s worth noting that having ‘bot’ or fake followers does not essentially mean that that respective celebrity himself/herself paid for the follower boost.While fake profiles do not belong to a real person, but they make it seem that this profile has a lot of influence. The fact that the world does get carried away with this popularity and make these celebrities their ideal is a concerning issue.

54 firms, according to Mumbai’s Joint Commissioner of Police Vinay Kumar Chaubey, have been identified who are an active part in the fake social media followers scam. Vinay Kumar Chauby also revealed that a team SIT,comprising Crime Branch and the Cyber Cell has been created to provide assistance in the investigation of the fake social media followers scam. SIT has identified 68 companies selling fake followers and fake social media activities like retweets, likes, view, subscriptions, comments etc.

SIT has documented around 20 statements in the matter. These are from Bollywood personalities as well as other high-profile influencers. The team has also sent a written application to the France government (via MEA) seeking details of FollowersKart, one of the main accused company.

According to a news report, a man named Abhishek Dinesh Daude has also been arrested by the Criminal Intelligence Unit (CIU) of Mumbai Police in relation to making fake social media accounts.

Stay tuned for latest updates and information!