How to Spot Fake Social Media Bots

how to spot fake social media bots
If you don't know this person and they're adding you on social media, they aren't real | MarcinK3333 |

A recent study estimated that up to 45 million of active Twitter accounts are actually bots. How do you spot them?

Earlier this month, President Trump thanked a Twitter account which had supported one of his tweets.

The only problem is that this Twitter account was actually a bot and has since then been suspended by Twitter.

In 2014, Instagram removed millions of accounts believed to be spam accounts. As a result, a lot of accounts lost plenty of followers.

Rapper Akon lost as much as 51% of his followers. Likewise, Instagram’s own account lost 18,880,211 followers as a result of this move.

sad akon
Akon |

You may not be Instagram but you still may want to be able to identify fake profiles when you see one.

In this article, we’ll share some of the dead giveaways of fake social media accounts.

How to Spot Fake Social Media BotsClick To Tweet

Best Ways to Spot Fake Social Media Accounts:

1. Empty bio

Bio pages on social profiles are very important.

Whether you’re an individual or a business, the bio page provides you the opportunity to sell yourself. Most bots aren’t created manually.

For this reason, most never fill out this section of their social account.

2. No Profile Pictures

Twitter Egg Default Profile Photo

Like bio, a profile picture is an opportunity to show the face behind the profile. Bots are not real people.

One person can control over 100 bots. Uploading profile picture for every single one of them will be tedious, hence most bot profiles have no profile pictures.

Of course, there are a lot of profiles that use stolen or fake pictures, too.

3. Duplicate Content Stream

Because bots are programmed, they aren’t able to think beyond their programmed code. They tweet and post content that fits within their programmed criteria. More often, this results in posting the same content multiple times.

4. Significant Disparity Between Followers and Following

Even though it’s normal for genuine social accounts to have fewer followers than accounts they follow, the margin usually isn’t that wide.

Bots tend to follow people randomly. Because most bots don’t have complete profiles, most accounts they follow never follow them back.

Next time you notice an incomplete social profile following 3,000 people but has 30 followers, it could be a bot.

5. Same Profile Picture Across all Different Social Accounts

As said earlier, most bots don’t have profile pictures but when they do decide to upload a profile photo, they usually use stock photos or stolen images.

They are also very likely to use the same photo across multiple different accounts.

If a google image search query for a profile picture returns with multiple different accounts, the profiles are all likely bots.


Bots are getting smarter by the day. With emerging technologies within the field of Artificial Intelligence, bots are getting better at mimicking human behavior thus becoming increasingly difficult to spot them.

However, these tips can still serve as a guide to spotting them.

What additional tips do you have for spotting social media bot accounts?

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