Wholesale and retail: verification of accounts on Instagram and Facebook is sold on the black market
Many social resources, including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, use various methods of dealing with fake celebrity accounts. The more famous the person, the more fake accounts, many of which are masterfully disguised as the original. The goals pursued by the creators of such accounts are different - from the usual communication with people to trying to get money fraudulently.
Several years ago, social networks decided to verify the accounts of popular personalities - politicians, artists, athletes, bloggers. Such a user goes through the verification procedure, providing the relevant documents, and after completing all verification steps, the account receives (or does not receive) confirmation in the form of an icon or icon that is clearly visible to users. As a result, other users, seeing the account, for example, Rihanna’s unverified account, understand that this is a fake. It seems to be all secure, but the other day it turned out that you can verify your account simply for the money, without any documents. Anyway, on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
This information was clarified in the course of the Mashable investigation conducted by journalists. They managed to find a user on the network who promised to verify virtually anything for a few thousand dollars. It all depends on what kind of account to be verified. For not too difficult work on the black market can take up to hundreds of dollars. But if you need to verify a fake account of a famous person, here the price can already reach $ 15,000.
In Instagram, the recipient of the cherished blue icon "celebrity" receives priority in the search results, and also has the ability to work with several unique features that are not in the accounts of ordinary mortals. In general, the necessary thing, if we consider that Instagram now has more than 700 million active users (those who visit the resource at least once a month). Verification itself can be obtained not only through a person who works on Instagram and has access to administrative functions. You can simply buy already verified someone else's account and work with it, removing the cream, for example, from advertising posts.
The administration of the resource is aware of this problem and is taking appropriate measures to eliminate the “holes” in the security system, either explicit or not. Now, according to those who are engaged in this business, it has become more difficult to carry out a “fake” verification. If last year it could be done several times a week, now we are talking about isolated cases. At the same time, the service sellers work not only with Instagram, they do the same work for Facebook and Twitter.
“I work with 2-3 people, depending on which of them is available. Cost (verification) $ 5- $ 8 thousand, which depends on the account. An Instagram employee takes 60-80% of this amount, ”a Twitter user who has been doing this for a long time told about the purchase verification procedure. The price of going through this procedure is so high for Instagram, since all this is quite difficult and fraught with dismissal for resource employees. It is clear that as soon as the management of the company learns about who performs such work for money, this person will be immediately dismissed.
Anyway, getting a verified account can be a very profitable business, because on Instagram there is a lot of advertising money. The volume of the advertising market here exceeds$ 1 billion a year. The lion's share of the budget goes to the owners of the blue icons of verified accounts, since one successful advertising post made by the so-called “influencer” can bring a lot of new customers to the company that ordered the advertisement.
In general, the verification algorithm for the account (meaning any) is as follows:
1. All technical work is performed by an Instagram / Facebook / Twitter employee;
2. The job of finding customers and communicating with them is performed by a friend / relative of this employee. He accepts the payment and shares the money with those who perform the technical work;
3. As soon as a client is found, the money is received, verification is performed and the account receives the coveted icon.
In general, there are no cover failures in the fact that someone uses methods that are not entirely legal in social networks. But the order of prices was not very well known, but now the cost of the verification service has been clarified. Probably, someone from readers of Geektimes already worked with this "service"?