What’s Up SCV buys bot followers, accused of false advertising
Local interest and marketing social media page What’s Up SCV has allegedly bought Instagram followers and is accused of misinterpreting its online reach for paid advertisers.
An invoice provided to KHTS by massgress.com, a site that claims to offer “100% real” Instagram followers, shows What’s Up SCV bought more than 40,000 followers over a period of around two months in late 2021.
That still leaves the social media page with a significant number of followers, assuming the remaining 41,000 or so accounts are genuine.
As of October 31, 2022, the What’s Up SCV Instagram account has over 91,000 followers, both genuine and fake.
Buying followers isn’t usually seen as a big deal, apart from being dishonest, and is most often used by influencers to boost their reputation.
However, the practice is concerning for ad clients, who rely on these subscribers’ audience to grow their business, and base the pricing of these paid ads on the number of subscribers to the page.
According to several recent clients, the cost of purchasing a sponsored post on What’s Up SCV’s Instagram page is estimated to be around $2,000 per month, with a special membership program offered in Spring 2022 at a 20% discount. at just $600 per month if a full year is purchased – that’s $7,200.
The main Whats Up SCV Instagram page isn’t the only one to buy followers, with an April Fool’s Day prank account (@dontlistentowhatsupscv) also reportedly receiving up to 10,000 bot followers.
As of October 28, the page has 1,298 followers. Most followers seemed genuine at first glance, however, further reading brought to light some questionable details. The majority of followers used stock photos, had massive follower-to-follower ratios, or had names written only in Cyrillic script.
While none of these points individually are of great concern, together they indicate that a majority of @dontlistentowhatsupscv followers are accounts created primarily to provide paid social media followers.
Freelancer arrested for making fake 9-1-1 calls
While not at fault, What’s Up SCV has been linked to other misinformation allegations in the past, such as when a freelance photographer or “stringer” associated with the social media account was arrested and charged with allegedly making multiple false 9-1-1 reports to the Los Angeles County Fire Department over a two-month period.
No, we do not tolerate this type of behavior. We work as closely as possible with all first responders. Hearing what he did moved us deeply, that’s not why this platform was created.
— What’s Up SCV (@whatsupscv) January 18, 2022
“No, we do not tolerate this type of behavior. We work as closely as possible with all first responders. Hearing what he did moved us deeply, that’s not what this platform was created for,” read a social media post from What’s Up SCV in response to Trejo’s arrest.
According to investigators from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, What’s Up SCV had no part in the false reports initiated by Trejo.
KHTS has contacted What’s Up SCV, but has not received a response at the time of this article’s publication.
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