Why Won't Twitter & Instagram Protect You Against Fake Yeezys?

Photo: Christian Vierig/Getty Images
If you thought fake news was a problem on social media, then buckle up for the next big (read: annoying) thing. Fake ads have begun finding their way onto various social media platforms, with scam websites getting promoted on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Edgar Alvarez of Engadget first noticed the trend when Instagram began promoting websites claiming to sell Yeezys for less than their retail value. "Not only that," Alvarez adds. "But the name of the account advertising them — something like 'Adidas Yeezy 350 $119' — is a telltale sign that the products are unauthorized."

According to Engadget, the counterfeit and pirated goods industry is looking to expand. A report from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development says the sales of these goods amounts to something near half a trillion dollars per year. That's an incredible number of people getting scammed, and the industry's newfound prevalence online means that number will only rise.

To the websites' credit, both Twitter and Facebook (which owns Instagram) have specific policies prohibiting the sale of counterfeit goods that they can point to. The issue is that they're not cracking down hard enough. Twitter declined to comment on the story, and Facebook told Engadget that millions of ads get reviewed each week by both software and humans. However, with these fake websites getting more advanced and realistic, Engadget reports, both people and computers are having difficulty noticing the difference.

In the meantime, stick by that tried and true mantra: If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.
Advertisement