The Dutch consumer and markets authority ACM has confronted six Dutch so-called influencers for using fake likes and followers to bolster their sales, with success, the agency said on Friday.
The six, active in fashion, lifestyle, fitness, food, and art, have all stopped using fakes since being confronted by the ACM as part of a crackdown in late 2021, the watchdog said.
Businesses or influencers that still use fake likes or fake followers risk fines for misleading consumers.
‘Consumers must be able to rely on the information they see online,’ ACM board member Cateautje Hijmans van den Berg said. ‘Businesses and influencers that sell or promote products are not allowed to use fake likes or fake followers to make their social media profile seem trustworthy or popular.’
Numerous businesses sell fake likes and followers online for platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, and Google which allow the buyers to seem more popular than they actually are.
As a result, consumers are misled about the quality or popularity of a business, a person, or a product or service, the ACM said.
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