At exactly 10:00 A.M. on Sunday, 20th of October, 2019 Davido announced the arrival of his newborn son who he named David Adedeji Adeleke Jr.
However, a few hours after the news hit the media over two hundred Instagram accounts appeared in the newborn baby’s name.
Rapper Dremo noted this and lamented on his twitter page:
“David pikin never even start to dey talk or crawl And him don get over 200 fake Instagram account na wa!!!”
David pikin never even start to dey talk or crawl
And him don get over 200 fake Instagram account 😂😂 na wa!!!
— Drizzy🔥🐉 (@Dremodrizzy) October 20, 2019
Fake social media accounts impersonating celebrities and famous people have become commonplace. Many celebrities have raised concerns over the prevalence of such accounts that casts a bad light on their public image.
In 2014, Instagram pulled down a fake Jim Iyke account that had been duping unsuspecting fans of the popular actor.
In 2016, an account with the handle @nonsodiobi1, that people supposed was the real Nonso Diobi, claimed that the kidnappers are asking for 150 million Naira and he needs the help of his fans to gather that sum. The Nollywood actor, Nonso Diobi took to Instagram with the handle @nonsodiobi disassociating himself from the fraudulent post.
Veteran actor, Richard Mofe-Damijo once lamented about the numerous fake accounts that were created in his name:
“I am aware that a lot of fraudsters have Facebook accounts set up with my name and image(s) and pretend to be me. I have on several occasions publicly stated that I Am Not On Facebook! I had an account I stopped operating in 2010. Please unfriend these fraudsters and help me bring down these fake profiles and accounts.
I only have a Twitter account @rmofedamijo and this IG account. The @rmdtheactor accounts on Twitter and IG are run by my Management and they are NOT on Facebook. Kindly tell everyone I said so #RMDSaysSo #RMDIsNOTonFacebook #ReportTheFraudsters”
Meanwhile, some other accounts that impersonate famous people have achieved notoriety for seasoning it with comic or mockery. They brand themselves as the “parody accounts” of popular accounts. Such accounts are noted for their funny and ridiculous posts that mostly make a mockery of the personality or organisation they impersonate.
Last month, the Nigeria Police Force declared war against a parody Twitter account which goes by the name, Nigerian Police Faux. Although the handle describes itself as “A PARODY” account, it made it clear that “This account DOES NOT REPRESENT THE VIEWS of NPF/Report cases to @PoliceNG”
The verified Twitter handle of the Nigeria Police Force @PoliceNG, drew the attention of the public to the imposter:
“Be it known to the public that the handle does not emanate from the Nigeria Police Force.
“It is not only fraudulent but ostensibly designed to spread fake news and consequently tarnish the image of the Force.”
To curb this menace, social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter resort to verifying celebrity accounts with a blue tick. This blue tick help fans of such celebrities to identify the real social media account and not fall victim to scams.