Today, New York Attorney General Letitia James announced a settlement over the selling of fake followers and likes by Devumi, a platform that used deceptive and fraudulent practices in creating a follower base for its clients.
A New York Times report released last year sparked the New York probe into the company.
Devumi no longer exists, but during its reign, the company used more than 3 million bots to elevate a person’s social media status with more followers. A hack into the “influencer culture,” Devumi profited off of people who wanted to seem important; however, some users did not know they were buying fake followers.
AG James’s office found that Devumi bots also “copied real people’s social media profiles without consent, including their name and picture.”
“With this settlement, we are sending a clear message that anyone profiting off of deception and impersonation is breaking the law and will be held accountable,” Attorney General James said in a press release.
The action by the New York AG could be the first step in a long battle for companies who operate in the influencer space and could change what that entire business model even looks like.