Scrolling through Insta the other day, I discovered a friend’s second profile – which had an unusually high number of followers.
15 000 to be exact, but it was clear that they weren’t real because, on average, each of her posts had around 30 likes.
While that’s an example of an obvious trait of Instagram ‘fake follower’ syndrome, Amelia Liana, a well-known British travel vlogger, has been called out for another, less obvious practice.
Fans and critics went in hard, accusing Liana of photoshopping herself into exotic travel locations, explains Newshub:
The most damming evidence against the British social media star so far was a photograph posted in May, purportedly showing her in New York.
The photo was supposedly taken from the Rockefeller Center, looking out over the New York skyline. However the Freedom Tower, built four years ago, is missing from the photo.
Then, there was the issue with the shadow. Take a look yourself:
Liana quickly deleted the photo, but there were more:
Another contentious photo shows her in front of India’s Taj Mahal. However, the photo lacks the scaffolding which is currently covering one tower. People have also pointed out that Liana’s shadow stops abruptly at the edge of the pond and does not stretch into the water, and that there are too many birds in the sky and too few tourists in the crowd.
Girrrrrl. Did you even go there?
But this is my favourite:
Other disgruntled fans have complained over her numerous ice cream photos. In one snap, the star is holding an immaculate, unmelted ice cream in a distinctive fish-shaped cone from a well-known New York store.
“How is this possible?” complains one fan. “That ice cream place is nowhere near where you “took that pic”.”
In her defence, Liana said “I would never cheat on [my fans] by putting myself in a picture where I wasn’t in a natural location…[I] always remain faithful to my followers by taking my pictures in real locations”:
She also added a post to her website on July 15, outlining her “image principles”. The carefully worded statement says she always takes pictures “at the time in the location I specify”.
She adds that she may use tools to sharpen her images, including “improving the light, tidying the background and other enrichments”. However she states this is done in a way that is “representative to the true setting”.
Of course, a few followers rushed to Liana’s defence:
“I think everyone is missing the point here, this page in whole is to show dreamy side of things, everyone has their own style of editing and she has this one.”
“Instead of saying that she ‘faked’ the photos, I’d rather take the alterations she has done as a form of art. I’ve been in Taj Mahal too, and I fully agree that a photo like this wouldn’t have been possible without editing, but try to see it from a positive point of view: Did she make the scenery bad? No. Did she make people lose interest in the Taj Mahal? No. Do other photographers publish pictures in magazines without alterations? No. Is there any written rule that a Youtuber should post unedited photos? No.”
In an age where social media is a virtual theatre, used to show off your personal success through dreamy imagery, surely fans and followers deserve a little more transparency?
No wonder half the world gets depressed after scrolling through their newsfeed.
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