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Paying creators based on engagement encourages harmful collusion

Compensating social media influencers based on engagement metrics, such as follower counts, likes, and comments, encourages fraudulent behavior and collusion. This practice leads influencers to form groups, or "cartels," to artificially inflate their engagement numbers, resulting in lower quality engagement for advertisers and a significant portion of marketing budgets being misused. The researchers suggest that this issue can be mitigated by compensating influencers based on the actual value they provide rather than raw engagement metrics.

Discussion (2)

crissfuture profile image
Criss F

Fraud is a major issue and creators can easily game the system by buying fake followers or likes, leading companies to pay for engagement that isn’t real or valuable. High engagement numbers don’t necessarily translate to meaningful interactions or conversions either. A smaller, genuinely engaged audience is far more valuable than a large, disengaged one.

kenshin99 profile image

Reminds me of what is happening in the Music streaming (Spotify, SoundCloud, Apple Music, YT Music) world. It seems that artists have just grown accustomed to artificially bloating up their streams. And not Artists who normally wouldn't do that, are doing it just to be on the same playing field as their peers.