Some top Instagram influencers found to be using Russian bots to boost reach 

High-profile Instagram accounts, with up to 40 million followers, were allegedly using Russian bots to boost reach 

March 03, 2023 01:28 pm | Updated 01:59 pm IST

High-profile accounts associated with different industries were found to be using bot accounts to inflate their reach.

High-profile accounts associated with different industries were found to be using bot accounts to inflate their reach. | Photo Credit: Getty Images

Top Instagram profiles with up to 40 million followers were found to be allegedly using Russian bots to boost their presence on the image-sharing platform. The profiles were found to be associated with eco-conscious clothing, as well as glasses, jewellery and furniture brands.

Accounts associated with the music industry, graphic artistry, fashion modelling, dance studios, events venues, health and beauty, and fitness were also found to be using bot accounts to inflate their reach, a report from Cybernews said.

Data about the bot service allegedly linked to Russia was discovered when it started leaking client’s private data and messages. Leaked data revealed that almost half a million of the services’ fake accounts were being used by high-profile influencers.

The data belonging to, a Russian-language website that offers services enabling spamming and botting on Instagram, also revealed the information on users who purchased the botting service and for which account.

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The botting service goes under the brand-name Zeus, the report stated.

Leaked data also included information on the number of bots used by Zeus, found to stand at 443,000 bot accounts.

The report comes even as social media platforms like Twitter continue to delete bot accounts. Currently, it is estimated that Twitter deletes over 310 million bot accounts annually, equivalent to about 10 bot accounts every second.

Bot accounts are especially notorious for spamming, spreading crypto scams and fraudulent boosting on social media accounts, the report said.

Bots accounts have also been linked to disinformation campaigns, targeting political opponents and baiting audiences across a number of countries.

Currently Instagram is estimated to have about 95 million fake accounts in its approximately one billion user base.

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