Instagram Gets Real and Kills Fake Followers…Justin Bieber is Not Happy

You know how there are some people you know that have a ton of followers on Instagram, and you’ve always been like, “Seriously? How are so many people following you? I’ve sneezed more interesting stuff.” 

Well, Instagram may have answered your question.

Last week, they posted this notice:

We’ve been deactivating spammy accounts from Instagram on an ongoing basis to improve your experience. As part of this effort, we will be deleting these accounts forever, so they will no longer be included in follower counts. This means that some of you will see a change in your follower count.

And as promised, they pulled out the rake. The results? Well let’s just say, “a change” in follower count is putting it lightly.

People from A-list celebrities all the way to Z-list wannabes have lost millions of fudged followers and they are not pleased about it. Turns out people are very protective of their imaginary friends. 

Who got hit the hardest? Well, user @zachallia has been nice enough to summarize the top 100 affected accounts with a few great graphics but here are some of the highlights: 

Justin Bieber: Lost 3.5 million followers (15%)

Tyga/T-Raww: Lost 2.13 million followers (37%)

Akon: Lost 2.5 million followers (56%)

Puff Daddy: Lost 1 million followers (22%)

Bruno Mars: Lost 881K followers (24%)

Harry Styles: Lost 819K followers (8%)

The Fake Rihanna: Lost 1.16 million followers (8%)

Composwell: Lost 3.2 million followers (60%)

Chiragchirag78: Lost 3.7 million followers (99%)

Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus both lost over 700K followers each.

But perhaps the most painful hit was taken by rapper/pastor/enigma Ma$e. He went from 1.6 million followers to 272 thousand in a matter of hours.

And then he deleted his account.

It’s possible that he also cried a bit. We’re still trying to confirm that with our sources.

But it’s not all intentional shadiness. Instagram has said that there’s a good chance many people didn’t even know they had “fake” followers. Which, along with the ambiguity of what constitutes “fake”, explains some of the outrage.

Some people are quite pleased about it – like talk show host, Andy Cohen and The Fat Jewish – and happy to see a purge of misleading, inauthentic fan bases in an environment all too conducive to manufactured allure.

You know who else is happy about it?

We are.

This. Is. Totally. Awesome. 


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