Social Media
Technology

Social Media – Is buying followers, likes, views or comments digitally legal?

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Social media have become a worldwide phenomenon in the last fifteen years. They have opened up new markets like the influencer marketing business, which generally involves advertising partnerships between brands and influencers (youtubers,

  1. Nowadays, most individuals have social media: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or YouTube, whether for personal or professional purposes, as is the case for some YouTubers, such as Norman Thavaud1or even Marie Lopez called EnjoyPhoenix2. The same is true for legal persons. Indeed, the digital advertising market on social media allows brands (Nike, Victoria’s Secret,
  2. But how is an e-reputation acquired on social media? What are its essential characteristics? So that natural or legal persons can be recognized as influencers4on social media, they must have a large audience, i.e. have a high number of subscribers, likes ,comments, views (in the case of YouTube). It is with regard to this numerical data that Internet users will assess the notoriety of an account on social media.
  3. For people using social media for business purposes, these numbers are all the more important. Indeed, the more an account retains a large community of Internet users, the more the chances of obtaining an advertising partnership with a brand increase. However, this race for e-celebrity sometimes pushes some Internet users to “cheat”. Indeed, nowadays, it is possible to buy subscribers, likes, fans, views, comments, followers ,etc. on the internet. The process is simple, just type in the Google search engine the words “purchase”, “YouTube views”, ” followers “, to see a large number of sites offering their digital subscriber sales services, offollowersor comments. Thus, these sites offer the possibility to those who wish to increase their
  4. This demonstrates that this practice affects not only youtubers, bloggers, artists seeking sponsorship ,but also public figures and businesses seeking credibility or visibility. However, this misleading strategy can have undesirable consequences on several levels, in particular for consumers and businesses. This is why this global phenomenon deserves attention.
  5. In view of this brief presentation, we should first of all focus on the functioning of digital sales sites for subscribers, views or likes. This first analysis will allow us to highlight one of the central problems of this type of trade, namely the proliferation of fake accounts

I – The digital purchase of subscribers, views or likes : the problem of fake accounts

  1. The social media influencer marketing business has spawned new markets, including the digital sale of subscribers, followers, likes. This is why many companies wanted to specialize in it in order to profit from it. And in view of the multitude of websites offering these services, it seems that this is a fruitful investment. Now, let’s take a look at how these sites work.
  2. Buying subscribers, views or likesis simple: just go to a site specializing in this type of business and then choose an offer there. There are individual offers, like 1,000 YouTube views delivered in 24 hours for a fee of €56, 500 Facebook fans obtained in 48 hours for an amount of €70, or 100,000 followersdelivered in 72 hours for an amount of €5,000. There are also more complex offers, working in “packs”, such as 1,000 Instagram followersobtained over 30 days, with 100 likesand 20 automatic comments for an amount
  3. Is this digital sale legal? Most websites claim to provide real followers, subscribers or likesand have a completely legal process. This is moreover what the website Achat-des-fans.com supports in its general terms and conditions of sale: “fans and followersfrom our services are real people using their social network and agreeing to like/ followthem _pages that we submit to them via large platforms dedicated to this use and partners of the site www.buy-des-fans.com. (…) The working methods of our service providers are legal in the strict sense of the law but the site www.buy-des-fans.com cannot be held responsible for
  4. These facts show that certain sites specializing in this trade use fake accounts to satisfy their customers. But should such a commercial practice be qualified as misleading or be perceived as an advertising strategy? On another level, the social media terms and conditions say nothing about websites specializing in the digital sale of genuine subscribers, followersor likes. : is the purchase on these sites of real subscribers authorized or does the customer risk seeing his account deleted for
  5. In conclusion, if the hunt for fake subscribers, likes, dislikesseems to be, to a lesser extent, a difficulty that can be controlled by social media, the digital purchase of YouTube views and comments is perhaps less so .
  6. First of all, regarding the purchase of YouTube views, just like with the purchase of subscribers on social networks, it can lead to a deceptive marketing practice. Indeed, an Internet user will be more inclined to watch a video with 200,000 views than a video with 350 views. In general, on YouTube, if a video is very viewed, it means that it arouses the interest of its users. However, if this interest relates, for example, to a product, this means that the Internet user is directed towards the supposed value of the product, while refraining from revealing its real value. In addition, this practice has the consequence, in the event of playing a video with false views, of financially enriching the holder of the YouTube channe
  7. How can consumers know if the views they are buying are genuine? Once again, it is up to the customer to be vigilant and to find out about the reliability of the site that offers this type of service, at the risk of seeing their channel deleted.
  8. In the meantime, some bloggers do not hesitate to reveal their tricks in order to detect accounts likely to distort their statistics through the digital purchase of subscribers, likes, YouTube views or comments18. So we can be advised to check the reliability of an account using the Social Blade site19, which allows you to observe in the form of a table and graph the

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