6 Fake Instagram Stars

1. Polish Instagram Star Finds Success After Making Himself Look Older

Some people spend a fortune trying to keep themselves looking young, but one Polish Social media star admits he only found success after making himself look at least 10 years older than he actually is. Meet Pawel Ladziak, aka "Polisih Viking". Pawel often gets mentioned as one of the hottest-looking men over 40, and admits that some people who see his photos think that he’s around 60-years-old. And who can blame them? After all, he must be pretty old for his hair to have gone completely white, right? Well, Pawel Ladziak is only 35-years-old, and dyes his hair and beard white frequently in order to maintain this older look. And for good reason, as he credits this transformation for his social media success.

In a recent interview with Polish website Wirtualna Polska, Pawel said that his hair had started going gray years ago. He didn’t like the “salt and pepper” look, so at one point he decided to dye his hair and beard completely white. He had been active on sites like Instagram and Facebook for a while, but it was only after he started posting photos of him sporting the old-but-incredibly-fit look that he became popular. People were intrigued by this seemingly elderly man and his enviable physique, and before he knew it, Pawel became an influencer with over 330,000 followers on Instagram.

Pawel says he became interested in fitness and weight training when he was 16-years-old, working out in his basement and at school. But then, he was “devastated by the crazy years of youth”, shunning his fitness regimen for over a decade. When he matured, around age 30, he looked at himself in the mirror and thought that he couldn’t possibly look any worse. So he got back into fitness, and ended up with the body you see in these photos.

2. Experiment Reveals How Surprisingly Easy It Is To Become A Fake Instagram Star And Get Brands To Pay You

Instagram influencer marketing is now a $1 billion dollar industry, and you don’t need a cute dog or a book-worthy lifestyle to get into the game. According to an investigation by marketing agency Mediakix, anyone can fake their way into signing profitable contracts with brands.

The agency created two fictitious Instagram accounts: 1) ‘a lifestyle and fashion-centric Instagram model’ and 2) ‘a travel and adventure photographer.’ For the first account, Mediakix hired a model and generated the entire channel content through a one-day photo shoot. Introducing Alexa Rae (calibeachgirl310). The second account was dedicated to Amanda Smith (wanderingggirl), and this time Mediakix went even further. The entire feed was composed of free stock photos of random places across the world and blonde girls, always posing facing away from the camera.

After setting up fake personalities and generating their content, the agency started purchasing followers. “We started with buying 1,000 followers per day because we were concerned that purchasing too many followers at the onset would result in Instagram flagging the account,” Mediakix stated. “However, we quickly found that we were able to buy up to 15,000 followers at a time without encountering any issues.” And how much does this army cost? Between $3-$8 per 1,000.

Essentially, if the followers don’t like or comment on posts, they’re kind of worthless. So the next step was to purchase fake engagement. “Once we had accumulated a few thousand followers for each account, we started buying likes and comments.” Mediakix paid about 12 cents per comment, and between $4-9 per 1,000 likes. For each photo, they purchased 500 to 2,500 likes and 10 to 50 comments. The entire experiment ended up costing Mediakix about $1,000 (around $700 for setting up calibeachgirl310 and around $300 for wanderingggirl). After calibeachgirl310 and wanderingggirl reached 10,000 followers (the threshold amount for signing up on most influencer marketing platforms), Mediakix started applying them for sponsorship deals. “We secured four paid brand deals total, two for each account. The fashion account secured one deal with a swimsuit company and one with a national food and beverage company.” “The travel account secured brand deals with an alcohol brand and the same national food and beverage company. For each campaign, the “influencers” were offered monetary compensation, free product, or both.”

The results are worrying for everyone spending money on influencer marketing campaigns. Instagrammers with a fake following and/or engagement could be defrauding brands from millions of dollars.

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3. 'Rich Kids of Instagram' star denies her billionaire lifestyle is fake after she was caught renting a bedroom via flatshare site SpareRoom

Russian socialite Julia Stakhiva is a rising social media star who recently appeared on British reality TV show "The Rich Kids of Instagram."

But she just made her Instagram account private after a wave of online abuse, following a column by The Guardian's Marina Hyde which punctured her image by revealing that she was renting a bedroom in London through flatshare website SpareRoom.

The flat itself is owned by Hyde's mother-in-law, and Hyde claims Stakhiva used the flat for a number of photoshoots while her landlady was away.

Hyde essentially accuses Stakhiva of fabricating her lifestyle in order to achieve fame. Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson piled on, saying on Twitter, "Woops! If you're going to lie about being a spoilt ultra-brat, don't do it as the lodger of @MarinaHyde's mum-in-law."

But Stakhiva tells Business Insider she was shocked by the article and strongly denies that her life is fake.

4. Travel Vlogger Amelia Liana Accused Of Posting Fake Instagram Photos

Beauty and travel vlogger Amelia Liana counts 456,000 YouTube subscribers and 475,000 Instagram followers, where she shares an envy-inducing glimpse into her ultra-glam escapades, including trips to Marrakesh, Lake Como, and the South of France.

But now, 26-year-old Liana, who lives in London, has come under fire after The Times alleged that she had photoshopped herself into various locales across the globe on her Instagram feed. One notable discrepancy included a photograph at the top of Rockefeller Center in New York — which has since been removed — where One World Trade Center is missing from the skyline. Another picture of India’s Taj Mahal (see below) without massive crowds and scaffolding — which should have been present when the photo was taken — also raised eyebrows.

An image of Liana all alone on the Brooklyn Bridge and a snapshot in which she’s reposed in bed seemingly on top of the London skyline also appear to be doctored, reports the New York Post.

In a blog post, however, Liana denied the charges, stating that “all my imagery is actually shot at the time in the location I specify” — though she concedes that she does use editing to “improve the light, tidy the background, and other enrichments, but always in a way that is representative to the true setting.” Liana added that she’s an early riser and often tries to shoot content at sunrise — especially in destinations where heavy tourist traffic is anticipated.

“I feel a great bond with you, my followers, and I would never wish to deceive you,” she wrote. “I give huge thought and importance to every shot, spending considerable time styling my outfits, matching my makeup and hair, and then deciding on a beautiful and suitable setting.”

5. Ad Agency Creates Fake Instagram Star To Make A Point About Addiction

She was a beautiful, fun-loving Parisian woman with a life her Instagram followers envied. Or so they thought.

Twenty-five-year-old Louise Delage posted a few photos each day over the course of several weeks. The posts attracted over 60,000 followers.

But what Delage's fans didn't know is that she didn't really exist.

This fictitious woman was the creation of an ad agency. Why? The answer is in the photos.

Get it now? Almost all of the 149 posts on Delage's Instagram had alcohol in them.

Addict Aide, a French organization that provides resources to help fight addiction, commissioned the agency to create the "Like My Addiction" campaign. The goal was to give people a better understanding of how difficult it can be to notice signs of alcoholism.

It seems to have been a success, sort of. The president of the ad agency told AdWeek few people realized Delage's loneliness and addiction.

The campaign's use of a popular social platform and fictional person shouldn't come as much of a surprise.

In 2013, this video of a woman who pleads for help went viral. An ad agency later announced it created the video to draw awareness of domestic violence in Serbia.

6. 'Sim or human?' Model with cartoon-like features sends Instagram into a frenzy as fans debate whether she's real or not

With her plump lips, huge eyes and doll-like demeanour, she looks as if she could have stepped straight out of a video game. So perhaps it's no wonder the latest Insta-famous model Lil Miquela has sent her fanbase of more than 65,000 into a frenzy as they debate whether she's a real person or not.  Miquela regularly treats her Instagram followers to pictures of her posing in off-duty model worthy athleisure, visiting nightclubs and art galleries. But it's all too much for some, who are desperate to know who is behind the enigmatic account.

Fans have repeatedly ask for the person behind the account to reveal whether Miquela is a real person or a Sim - referring to a character from the popular computer game series.  Briiverson16 asked 'what is this girl?', while queen_mykah said she was 'so confused' and mikaylaad added: 'Wait are you real?'

Waadthb said she'd never been more confused in her life, adding: 'I literally don't understand.'

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