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Why fake accounts dominate Instagram | #followme

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Published on May 14, 2019

Why is Instagram dominated by fake accounts? What is fake, what is real on Instagram? Since Instagram was founded followers and accounts have grown insanely. But how can you see on Instagram which accounts and followers are real, and which are fake? A documentary that investigates why and how fake followers dominate Instagram.

This documentary is a cross-media research into the economy that has emerged since Instagram has been established: sometimes creative and innovative, but sometimes also very shadowy. As a viewer, you follow Nicolaas Veul and the making of the account @followme.doc. He tries all the tips and tricks to gain popularity, interviews key players and influencer and reflects on his findings.

Nicolaas Veul looks into the financial world behind Instagram. A completely new revenue model has emerged on this social platform: likes and followers have become strong competitors.
What kind of shadow economy is created as a result? What is real and what is fake? How do you fight the algorithm? Who are the winners and who are the losers? And what do you notice when you scroll through your feed? With #followme the VPRO produces the first documentary about Instagram on Instagram.

In #followme Nicolaas Veul wonders who the winners and who the losers are in this new industry.
How do you fight the algorithm? He talks with various influencers and with the Amsterdam Agency for Digital Influencer Marketing: IMA. They know better than anyone how the Instagram industry works. In addition, he travels to Russia where home-bound young mothers write comments for money. In America, he meets social media software developer Dovetale who developed an instrument to recognize fake followers and bots. Travel influencer Sara Melotti reports in Milan about her - she says - violent relationship with the medium. And a wholesaler in fake followers anonymously opens a book about fraud on Instagram. There seem to be no rules in this new economy: welcome to the Wild West called Instagram.

Original title: #followme

You can also find this documentary on IGTV: https://www.instagram.com/tv/BxZd8sVg...

The vertical premiered on November 21 on IGTV.
The television version was broadcast a day later, at 8.55 pm on November 22, on NPO 3.

Originally broadcasted by VPRO in 2018.
© VPRO Backlight November 2018

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Credits #followme:
Presentator, Programme maker: Nicolaas Veul
Camera/Director: Duco Coops
Research: Wiesje Kuijpers, Anna Meijer van Putten
Editing: Obbe Verwer, Josèff Iping
Commissioning Editors: Lotje IJzermans
Jurgen van Uden
Online Editors: Wiesje Kuijpers
Jim Schulpen
David Meulenbeld
Production: Rens Mevissen
Chief Editors VPRO: Anouk Kamminga, Stan van Engelen
With special thanks to Alex Klippel and Roos van Ees

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