How To Tell if TikTok Followers Are Fake: 4 Quick Pointers

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Carolyn Howell

Last Updated: Mar 06, 2024

TikTok 101

Want More Real Tiktok Followers?

Does a TikTok account’s fast growth seem a little suspicious? In this era of buying followers, anyone could wake up with a ridiculous number of followers. Besides that, if you’re looking for a brand influencer, it is crucial to determine their follower quality. But you must first understand how to tell if TikTok followers are fake.

Several pointers show that a person has many fake accounts following them. For instance, you can tell a TikTok profile has fake followers from its engagement rate. Also, other factors like their follower-to-following ratio and engagement quality should be considered. 

Well, without further ado, let’s dive into this topic. 

A person holds a back iPhone displaying his TikTok profile.

Are you looking for a TikTok influencer to promote your brand or products? Consider checking the quality of their audience before hiring them. Since many users artificially increase their follower count, you must be careful. Fortunately, using a few techniques, you can tell if someone has fake or real followers. 

Here are four ways how:

1. Extremely High or Low Engagement Rates

For influencers with large audiences on TikTok, engagement rates tell a lot about their profiles. If you notice disproportionate engagement rates on a particular profile, you’re likely seeing an account with fake followers

Low engagements typically show that the user has many fake followers. On the other hand, extremely high engagement rates indicate that the person uses bots to farm fake engagement. Although platforms like TikTok fight back, this factor still exists. 

You can find a user’s engagement rate by dividing the total number of engagements by the number of followers. Then, multiply the result by 100 to get the percentage. They likely have bots among their followers if the rate is less than 1%. 

Abnormally high rates also mean the user may have bought fake likes, views, or comments. Repetitive comments or likes could also indicate bot activity. But besides that, you can use third-party services to check the engagement rate on an account. 

2. Spammy and Unrelated Comments

Fake followers may be present when you see so many spammy and unrelated comments under someone’s TikTok video. So, checking the comments is a good way to assess if a user has authentic followers. Here, you can discover who interacts with a user as well.

Spam comments are usually out of place and do not usually relate to the post. For instance, they may only contain emojis and no text. Also, short and generic comments sometimes indicate spam and fake followers. To be sure of yourself, check the profiles that comment on such posts.

They usually have very little or no followers. They also have random handles and no bios. You’ll sometimes find private accounts commenting on TikTok posts. These are all clear indications that a user’s followers are fake or even bots

A person holds a phone displaying the TikTok logo.

3. Uneven Ratio of Followers and Following

You can also determine if users have fake followers from their followers-to-following ratio. This is one instantly obvious factor, even to inexperienced users. This is the number of people that follow a user vs. those that a user follows. 

Usually, an account with real followers has more followers than people they follow. So, fake followers are generally present when you see an account with an equal number of followers and people following. People sometimes use scripts and automated bots that follow people massively, requiring them to follow back. 

In such cases, there is usually no audience blending. The user only becomes stuck with a diverse audience that may have no interest in their posts. The effect is usually the same as that of followers you may have paid for.

4. Inconsistent Video Views

If you notice wild inconsistencies with a user’s TikTok video views, fake followers may explain why. Usually, smaller accounts with fewer followers have less engagement. With the influx of fake followers, users sometimes pay for engagement to add to the effect. 

Since these users cannot always maintain speed by buying more engagement, they drop dramatically. So, while looking for users with authentic audiences, find those whose engagement has remained consistent over a certain period. 

You can also use third-party services like HypeAuditor and Collabstr to check for fake followers.

A laptop on a bed with a TikTok profile displayed on the screen.

How To Deal With Fake Followers on Your TikTok Account

If you’re growing your account and brand on TikTok, you will likely attract fake followers. Sometimes, you may not always pay for fake followers, but you’ll begin to notice some among your followers. Now, how do you deal with these fake followers?

You must first identify them. But picking them out is usually simple, given that they stick out like sore thumbs among other followers. From their comments, usernames, followers, and their overall profiles, you can always identify them. So, here are three ways to deal with them:

1. Report the Fake Accounts

When you notice fake accounts following you on TikTok, first report them. Reporting such accounts lets the platform know their status as fake accounts. Subsequently, the social media company can take such accounts down due to your reports. 

Here is how to report an account on TikTok:

  1. Open the TikTok app and head to your profile by tapping the profile icon at the bottom right corner.
  2. Tap Followers to open a list of people that follow you. 
  3. Open the fake account profile and tap the forward icon at the top right corner.
  4. From the options that will appear, tap Report.
  5. Follow the prompts, choose the applicable options, and submit your report.

TikTok will go through your report and decide what to do.

A person recording another person sitting in public.

2. Remove the Fake Accounts From Your Followers

With TikTok, you can remove an account from your list of followers. This is useful if you notice any fake or bot accounts following you. Here is how to remove followers:

  1. Open the TikTok app and go to your profile by tapping the profile icon.
  2. Tap on Followers to open a list of your followers. 
  3. Tap the three dots icon beside any follower you wish to remove. 
  4. Tap Remove this follower, and the app will immediately remove them from your profile.

This is a useful way of cleaning up your followers list. While you can remove fake followers, you can also target inactive ones. It can be tasking, especially if you have thousands of followers. 

3. Block the Fake Accounts

Blocking a TikTok account is also an option if you notice it is fake. By blocking suspicious accounts, you can maintain genuine engagement on your profile. Here is how to:

  1. Open TikTok and visit your profile.
  2. Tap the Followers option to open a list of all your followers.
  3. Open the suspicious profile and tap the share icon at the top right.
  4. From the options, tap Block and confirm your action. 

You can take helpful actions when you understand how to tell if TikTok followers are fake. Blocking fishy accounts helps you focus better on your target audience. But blocking or removing fake accounts isn’t the only effective strategy. Consider hiring a growth service to help target specific audiences for better results.

For instance, High Social, a growth service, helps you achieve organic growth on TikTok. The agency helps you connect with real users who are genuinely interested in your brand. The company’s experts assist you in creating and promoting your content the right way, fostering lasting and sustainable growth. Start growing your TikTok today!

TikTok 101