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social media toolsAre fake followers clogging your social media accounts?

Would you like to get rid of them?

Chances are you have some fake followers on Instagram and Twitter. You might even be following some fake accounts, yourself.

In this article you’ll discover four tools to help you find and remove fake followers from Twitter and Instagram.

Concerned About Fake Followers?

Fake followers on social media accounts clutter your stream, reduce your engagement, expose you (and your legitimate followers) to phishing or spam and put you at risk for having your account deleted. And fake followers can’t buy your product or service!

find and remove fake twitter and instagram follwers

Discover how to find and remove fake followers on Instagram and Twitter.

Listen to this article:

The only purpose for fake accounts is spamming or, in the case of fake accounts that were bought, pumping up someone’s reputation.

Does someone you follow seem to have a suspiciously high number of followers? You can use these tools to check their accounts, too.

#1: Fakers App

The folks at Status People developed the Fakers app to check fake and empty Twitter accounts. This tool allows you to easily see how many fake or empty accounts follow you, as well as check on the competition.

On the Status People website, click Connect to Twitter to begin. You’ll need to authorize the app to access your Twitter account. In less than a minute (for smaller accounts) or up to a few minutes (for larger accounts), you’ll be able to see your own follower report.

fakers app

My Fakers app report on January 29, 2015.

According to the Fakers app, 6% of my followers are fake, and 30% are inactive. Status People’s definition of a spam account is one that has few or no followers, has little activity and yet follows a massive number of accounts.

The report also lets you view a few details about your followers.

fakers app follower detail report

Status People offers some details about your followers.

For example, nearly all of my followers speak English, a quarter of them haven’t tweeted in a while and a quarter of them follow fewer than 250 people. The report even shows the Twitter handles of some of my fake followers.

Status People offers three levels of service:

The free account allows for unlimited checks on your Twitter handle, plus eight free searches for friends or competitors, and the basic analytics I mentioned above.

The basic account adds unlimited searches and advanced analytics. It also allows you to manually block fake accounts and track up to five friends.

With the premium account, you can auto-block fake accounts and track up to 15 friends.

#2: Fakefollowers

Fakefollowers is one of the free tools at Socialbakers, the social analytics company.

This tool will check a random sample of 100 of your followers against a list of criteria, including follower-to-following ratio, red flag (spammy) words, a high percentage of tweets that are retweets or links and more. An account is defined as inactive if it hasn’t tweeted in the past 90 days or sent fewer than three tweets.

To get started, type in your Twitter handle—or the handle of someone you’re curious about—and click Check.

After you grant access to your Twitter account, you can view an analysis of your Twitter followers.

fakefollowers report

My fakefollowers report on January 29, 2015.

Fakefollowers reports that 95% of my followers are good and 5% are suspicious or empty.

The report will also let you see some of the suspicious/empty accounts identified during the scan. You can block those accounts by clicking the Block All button.

fakefollowers suspicious accounts report

Some suspicious accounts that follow me.

Fakefollowers is free to use. You can check up to 10 times a day, which is recommended if you have a large following.

Socialbakers puts their margin of error (the only company that provided this information) at 10-15%.

#3: TwitterAudit

TwitterAudit is a tool developed by Dave Caplan and David Gross. It works by taking a random sample of 5,000 followers from the Twitter account (making it great for large accounts) and assigns a score to each follower based on the ratio of followers to following, the number of tweets and the date of the last tweet from the account.

To use TwitterAudit, type in any screen name in the search box and click Audit. After you authorize access to your Twitter account, click Run an Audit to see your results.

twitteraudit report

My TwitterAudit report on January 29, 2015.

As you can see in the report, TwitterAudit gave me an audit score of 92%. The audit score is the number of my real followers divided by my total followers. The scan determined that 89 of my followers are fake.

twitteraudit report

The quality score and real points of my followers.

The free version of TwitterAudit provides your score. When the pro version is eventually released, it will also let you hide your audit, block followers and re-audit your account at any time.

If you want to be notified when the pro version is available, click the TwitterAudit Pro banner near the top of the page and enter your email address.

#4: IGExorcist

Developed by Michael Landers, IGExorcist allows you to check for ghost followers on Instagram, which are the inactive or spam accounts that follow you. It works by cross-checking your followers against accounts you’re following to gauge interaction over the past 300 days.

Sign into your Instagram account from the IGExorcist website, then grant permissions and then click the Request Rebuild button.

igexorcist website

The IGExorcist website.

You’ll now be able to view a list of users who are inactive with you. However, because IGExorcist is so thorough—checking all of your followers—it can take a few minutes for a request to begin processing, especially if other requests are already in the queue.

igexorcist report

My IGExorcist results on February 2, 2015.

The main criteria for removal is when people are following you and you aren’t following them, and they haven’t liked or commented on a photo in the past 300 days. The app doesn’t remove people you’re following.

If you want, you can bulk delete any of the users identified as inactive with you. The process takes about 2-3 seconds per follower. The default setting is to remove all of the followers identified, but you can protect a user by clicking on his or her picture.

igexorcist inactive report

Instagram users who haven’t interacted with me recently.

Keep in mind the app doesn’t know when someone started following you. If someone just started following you and hasn’t yet interacted, their account will show up as inactive.

IGExorcist is free to use, and the developer accepts voluntary contributions.

Conclusion

Not all accounts flagged by these tools are fake, so be sure to check out the accounts slated for deletion before hitting the go button. Some empty accounts could merely be people who have a Twitter account to follow news and sports, for example.

What has been your experience with fake followers? Have you used one of these tools? Were you surprised at the results? Please leave your comments below.

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  • I do my best to go through and remove the obvious ones–buy x followers for $15, etc. But I’ve been wanting to do a more thorough sweep, so this article was really timely. I’m going to give some of the free versions listed here a shot and see how it goes 🙂

  • Lisa Karl

    Thanks so much and glad to give you some timely info! 😉

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  • Mary Jane Kinkade

    Very helpful! Thanks.

  • I just completed this and am in the process of culling about 2500 ghosts on Instagram. Who would have know I had so many. Thanks for the article.

  • Just completed a Fake Followers check. Out of 150,000 followers on Twitter, 96% legitimate. I’ve been trying to cull through these followers and always love it when Twitter does a purge of inactive/spam/bots. They did one last week and they flushed out 7,500 followers. Makes my life easier.

  • Ones without a real face picture; ones that have activity only right after they are opened; ones that describe themselves as ‘really interested in Justin Bieber’ or ‘I just love life’; these are also easy pieces to remove. Also ones you do not recall, and would not have friended. Like I would not connect with someone who doesn’t post in English. Why bother?

  • Karen Eisenbraun

    Great article. I just unfollowed a bunch of inactive accounts last night so this was really helpful also. Although one of my “fake” followers on my account was my husband, who has never tweeted in his life, LOL!

  • Lisa Karl

    If you don’t speak the language someone is posting in, that makes sense.

  • Lisa Karl

    Thank you Mary Jane, glad you found it helpful!

  • Lisa Karl

    Wow! You are welcome!

  • Lisa Karl

    Doesn’t it? But it’s a good idea to stay on top of it yourself as well.

  • Lisa Karl

    Guess what? My husband is an inactive Twitter-er, too! 🙂

  • Biz Tips

    Thanks for sharing these excellent apps Lisa. At first I was too afraid to check my Twitter account but decided to give it a go and to my surprise I had better scores with each app than @LisaMariaKarl showed. Very comforting – John

  • Wendy C. Wood

    I guess what I’m not understanding is, why do we need to block fake accounts? How does the fake accounts impact our standing on twitter?

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  • Lisa Karl

    John–you shouldn’t be afraid! Even if you had a large number of inactive/fake followers, better to clear them out. 🙂 Glad to help!

  • Lisa Karl

    Twitter, Instagram and other social networks are frowning on people boosting themselves as ‘experts’ by faking a following. In addition, you could be subjecting your real followers to phasing and spam. Hope that helps!

  • Completely agree. I clear out in-active followers all the time on Twitter, but the Instagram one was great.

  • Wendy C. Wood

    ah ha, I suppose that makes sense. I need to get to work then! 🙂

  • Sara Pemberton

    Hi Lisa, any advice on removing or finding ‘Fake Likes/Fans’ on a Facebook page? Thanks!

  • I normally track followers and their activity levels using Tweepi and it works well for me. I was intrigued by the tool Twitter Audit and had a shot at it. The good news is that 97% of my followers are genuine but the fact that 3% are fake means I need to have a closer look at it. Hopefully those individuals are inactive and not fake as in really fake. Thanks for the tips, Lisa.

  • Is it safe to assume these are apps that are endorsed by Social Media Examiner? So they are legit and respectable?

  • It’s great. need these types of tools for Facebook also. Kindly make a post or let us know once this type of tool will be out in market for cleaning up the FB Page. Thanks..

  • Great tools!!
    Really helpful to remove the unnecessary or fake followers.

  • simonecas

    Last time I used an app, I got into trouble as Twitter blocked my account for aggressive unfollowing. Beware of apps, they might do more harm than good.

  • Lisa Karl

    Thanks, glad you found a new tool!

  • Lisa Karl

    There you go! Nothing to be afraid of! 😉

  • Lisa Karl

    Definitely! Don’t waste your energy on fakes!

  • Lisa Karl

    You’re welcome! Different tools will show different results and it’s always a good idea to take a closer look.

  • Lisa Karl

    These are from real and legitimate companies and people. The articles here are informative, not endorsements.

  • Lisa Karl

    So glad you found them helpful James!

  • Lisa Karl

    I haven’t heard of that happening. I’m so sorry it happened to you. 🙁

  • A tool to help identify fake LinkedIn accounts would also be very useful.

  • There is always the potential for this to happen. The thing to remember is that these are tools and you need to exercise judgement in how you use them rather than just automatically implementing everything thrown up.

  • Lisa Karl

    I agree Patrick, it would be nice not just for LinkedIn, but all social networks.

  • Indeed, Lisa!

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  • Jacqueline Falls

    This is so great. I was getting frustrating. Taking time to remove those fake accounts can be exhausting. Especially for small business owners like myself.

  • D

    question…i wanna delete all non follow backs,but is there a way to delete them all at once..instead of one by one?

  • helpful stuff, thanks. i don’t like the idea of looking more twittur famusss than i actually am so fake followers is the last thing i want, but they just keep coming.

    there’s nothing that can really be done to prevent it either so you’ve just gotta block and unblock every fake-looking account that follows you or just let your follower count rise illegitimately. kinda sucks for people who care about that kinda thing.

    i know “twitter followers” are the most meaningless thing in the world, but i don’t want to fake relevance that i don’t really have.

    just wondering btw, is there a way to prevent fake followers before it happens, instead of after? twitter is something i do for fun, which i don’t find in blocking/unblocking random accounts, but again i don’t want to look like there are more people following me than there actually are. i like to be honest about my irrelevance.

    thx agen ;))))

  • Sandra

    How do I remove fake followers on you FB fan page?

  • or like these! maybe the pothead one is real! xD

  • Baller Nation

    If you block and unblock does it delete them from your follower numbers? I was trying that, but it didn’t seem to work.

  • Grace Duffy

    Here’s a post about removing fake followers on Facebook: http://new-theme-socialmediaexaminer.pantheon.io/remove-fake-facebook-fans/
    Hope it helps!!!

  • yeah, blocking and unblocking should force them to unfollow you. it’s always worked for me.

  • Sabine

    Is there any tool or website to check fake/bought followers on instagram? Or at least a tool to see the followers countries?

  • Lisa Karl

    LOL!

  • Lisa Karl

    Sorry for the delayed reply Wendy, but yes! How is it coming along for you?

  • Lisa Karl

    Sorry for the delay in replying…I don’t know of any way to preemptively block fake followers. Wouldn’t that be nice!

  • Sabine

    Sorry, I forgot to mention that I don’t want to check my own account (what I can perfectly do with IGExorcist). But is there any tool in order to check other accounts?

  • Lisa Karl

    Sabine, not that I’m aware of at this time. As Instagram continues to become more popular, I’m sure someone will develop such a tool.

  • Maxwell Ntinga

    I have like thousands of fake followers who probably by accident followed me, i wanna
    remove them, remove like 40000 followers can take forever, any quicker way to do it? thanks

  • CaraFnParrish

    It’s against Instagram’s TOS to use a bulk unfollow tool and it can get your account permanently removed. I would think a blog like this would know better than to promote a product like that.

  • Is tehre any free tool to remove those fake accounts? The socialbakers tool is not available anymore