I was looking for something to put on and I stumbled across the documentary Fake Famous on HBO Max. I didn’t know what I expected but I didn’t think was going to be good. It’s fantastic.

What’s it about?

It’s about “influencers” on social media (which is apparently the number one career goal for children these days). If you aren’t up on what this is, the documentary goes into it at length.

It’s people that want to be rich and famous without having to work or have any talent whatsoever.

Apparently, there are millions of influencers that have at least 100,000 followers each on Instagram. If that doesn’t sound right that’s because it isn’t. The documentary goes into detail about how these people buy large numbers of fake follower “bots” that give the illusion of popularity.

A lot of these people don’t just have fake followers, they have fakes likes and fake comments too. Chances are their experiences are even fake. They could be in their backyard and say they are in the Redwood Forest or hold a toilet seat up against an airplane window with an aerial backdrop to give the illusion of flying somewhere exotic.

A fake plane ride

Sometimes doing all of this trickery can result in getting real followers and real free swag.

The director conducts an experiment where he takes 3 random people with under 3,000 Instagram followers each to see if he can turn them into influencers on Instagram. He even holds a basic audition that thousands of people attended to be chosen for this exercise.

People are desperate for “fame”.

He buys them bot-based followers, likes, and comments. They also fake a luxurious lifestyle for them (including renting out a mansion for $600 for a few hours to take pictures in it).

I’m not going to give away what happens but it is fascinating.

Near the end, the COVID-19 lockdown hits and they explore the impact on influencers who can’t do anything while the lockdown is in place. The results are unexpectedly eye-opening, to say the least.

This is a wildly fun, strangely entertaining, and highly informative documentary to watch.

I can’t recommend Fake Famous enough.

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