The Social Media Pyramid Scam
Social media personalities generated more than $4 billion in one year for large social media pyramid scam users.
A pyramid scheme or as I prefer to call it, pyramid scam, is a business model that recruits members via a promise of payments for enrolling others into the
scheme scam, rather than supplying investments or sale of products or services.
Social media are a hidden, nonetheless an out-in-the-open version of a pyramid scam. You’ll see what I mean soon.
It recruits members – other businesses or individuals – with the promise that they will make money, by “helping divulge” their personalities or commercial activities as long as they increase the number of LIKES, SHARES and FOLLOWERS.
It seems only natural that if an individual is a very talented person or if this product or service is on-demand, he will have a growing number of LIKES, SHARES and FOLLOWERS. However, it’s been revealed that people are able to pay marketing companies or hackers to literally produce thousands and in some cases tens of thousands of fake LIKES, SHARES and FOLLOWERS for a specific social media user.
It is common to find articles online that not only promote buying or producing followers but also that call this practice legitimate in some instances. In other words, it is not what the individual social media user offers that attracts LIKES, SHARES and FOLLOWERS.
If you still don’t understand why or how social media are pyramid scams, let’s go into another corner of the fraud.
Perhaps the clearest example of a pyramid scam is the fact that a very small group of people get away with the cash while alleging that they are spreading the wealth in the form of a product or a service.
Social media owners and thousands of people who see these tools as a positive rather than a negative would argue that they provide a platform for millions of people to make themselves, their products or their services known to the world and that they do so “for free”.
Everyone knows that there is no free lunch, so the money that circulates around social media platforms exists and it is going into someone’s pocket.
I am not talking about the average swimsuit model who makes a few hundred thousand dollars a year for endorsing a shampoo brand and for posting photos of it on her social media. I am talking about serious money.
Now, many people would say that the previous scenario is a contradiction to my first argument, that no one but the owners makes money.in the social media pyramid scam. It’s not. Let me explain further.
Another particularity of the social media pyramid scam is that both owners and first users enjoy the fruit of the novelty of the pyramid scheme. But this bounty of positive results only lasts for as long as the scam is a novelty, or in the case of social media, until the scam is exposed.
Cult of personality business model
If you want to know the proportion of the social media pyramid scam, take a look at this.
While the average social media pyramid scam user is a mortal bottom feeder, and while the average user may get a few thousand dollars a month from selling his product or service, social media personalities generated more than $4 billion in one year for large social media pyramid scam users; those who have cash to pay them to endorse their product or service.
How do they make all this money? They make it on the back of mindless consumers who cannot stop clicking those LIKE or SHARE buttons on social media posts.
How difficult is it to click LIKE or SHARE buttons, you may ask? Not too difficult, but that is not the point.
The issue is how much time do bottom feeders – consumers – waste clicking or reading about the lives of others and how unproductive they become while doing that.
There is no free lunch, remember?
Social media owners lure compulsive consumers with all kinds of bait so they LIKE, SHARE or FOLLOW people or companies.
Why do social media pyramid scammers and famous brands use bait?
“Most everyday brands find it difficult to naturally enter lifestyle conversations because they lack credibility in those spaces,” says Claudia Page, VP, Head of Creator Partnerships at Crowdtap.
While social media personalities make over $4 billion for their sponsors, how much would these so-called personalities make for themselves?
Earning power depends on who they are, as that determines how much they can charge brands.
Your average fitness guru can charge around $4,000 per post and about $20,000 per ad campaign.
Those amounts will of course also depend on how many followers the person who was turned into bait has in their social media accounts. Hence the importance of
having buying followers.
Seven million subscribers would land anyone a substantive $300,000 contract with Youtube, a Google company.
That makes Youtube the most lucrative source for personalities.
Paying someone $300,000 for a video campaign is peanuts compared to the money generated to social media pyramid scams via advertising.
Before getting into those numbers, it is relevant to ask at this point how much of all that money do the consumers get?
You are also making them money but in exchange for what?
So who are the big winners in the social media scam?
If you think making $300,000 for a 30-second video clip is exaggerated or that getting paid $20,000 for an advertising campaign is absurd, wait until you see how much social media pyramid owners make.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, you name it. These are the real winners of the social media pyramid scam.
There are 467 million users on LinkedIn, 330 million users on Twitter, 2 billion on Facebook, 500 million on Instagram, 158 million users on Snapchat.
All of these companies are publicly traded so investors, serious investors such as those who created these social media platforms and who still hold the majority of their shares stand to gain boatloads of money from it.
The wonder, if I may use that term, of social media pyramid scams is that there is no product to sell because the product to be sold is YOU, the bottom feeder, consumer of other people’s lives.
“The real transaction here isn’t you receiving enjoyment in the form of a free temporary distraction created by a media company at great expense, but rather, that media company renting your eyeballs to its advertisers,” says author Greg McFarlane. And guess what, you are not receiving your share of the pie for it.
According to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Facebook made around $6 per user in 2012. Facebook reported having 2 billion users in the third quarter of 2017, so let’s low ball its profit for last year by multiplying $6,00 times 2 billion.
Only in 2017, assuming that Facebook’s profit per user remained at 2012 levels, means that the company made $12 billion. If you are a Facebook user, congratulate yourself, you were successfully commoditized.
These are the numbers for one social network, perhaps the preeminent social network, for one year.
How about Twitter? Well, although the bird saw its revenue fall for a while, ts revenue went from $17.9 million in 2011 to $717 million in 2017, according to Statista.
If we add the number of users from all social media platforms cited above and multiply it by an average of $4,5 per individual, you are looking at an astronomical $15,750,000,000 in total revenue only in 2017.
It is important to remember that millions of social media users are repeat offenders. In other words, they have multiple profiles on those platforms and in many cases multiple profiles on one single platform. Again, congratulations to all of you commodities.
By the way, the same scam used by social media pyramid networks is used by the television and news industries – we do not place ads on our website.
Perhaps the television and news industries have the excuse of delivering the occasional funny TV series or interesting magazine article, but other than that, it is the same scam: commoditization of humans.
The commoditization of human beings is not exclusive to social network pyramid scams, television networks or newspapers. It is also used by the pharmaceutical industry, for example. The difference is that instead of counting revenue on a per-user basis, pharmaceutical companies count it as per injected subject.
In the 20th century, people lived in a physical consumption plantation. In the 21st century, they live in a digital consumption plantation.
The worst of all of this is that there are generations of kids who are born – no exaggeration – believing they can be rich and famous Youtubers or Snapchat personalities just because they can record a video from the comfort of their basement.
Sadly, many of them will get partly famous and make a few thousand dollars because who can resist watching a prank on Youtube or LIKING, SHARING and FOLLOWING someone showing off his brand new Lamborghini?
Nothing good, all bad?
Am I a heretic when it comes to technology or social media pyramid scams? Yes, although they do have some positives. I do have social media accounts for the purpose of publishing my articles and sharing the occasional photo with my relatives.
It is in publishing that I believe that social media platforms fulfill its most important role. News and information were democratized with the arrival of social media, even though that wasn’t its original purpose.
It is the democratization of information and the empowerment that comes with it that prompted governments and social media pyramid scam owners to publicly censor users; for the betterment of collective, of course.
Do you believe that? Plantation owners and their puppet politicians say they care for the very same people they commoditize?
Isn’t that a noble cause?
As in most cases, the power to use social media platforms for your benefit is YOURS to take.
It is all about clicking, liking, sharing and following consciously.
So please, if you found this and other of our articles beneficial to you, LIKE and SHARE this post and FOLLOW this publication.
“When human beings become commodities, as they have over the past two to three decades with the changing values of Western civilization, we begin to use human beings for purposes other than those purposes for which they are created.”
Dr. Theresa Deisher, PhD
Luis Miranda is an award-winning journalist and the Founder and Editor of The Real Agenda News. His career spans over 20 years and almost every form of news media. He writes about environmentalism, geopolitics, globalisation, health, corporate control of government, immigration and banking cartels. Luis has worked as a news reporter, On-air personality for Live news programs, script writer, producer and co-producer on broadcast news.