Tips & tricks: How to recognize a fake account?

NOTE FROM SIMPLEPLAN.CZ: As of January 22nd 2015, the account “@SimplePlan” on Instagram officially belongs to (and is run by) Simple Plan (and their management). The list of all official links can be found here.

Simple Plan’s presence on online social media has always been one of the reason why this band has managed to keep such a great and close relationship with their fans. But sometimes, for some fans it can be rather complicated to tell if a profile on a certain social network is really the guys from Simple Plan or if it’s just another fake account.

Because of how many times I’ve seen fans actually interacting with various accounts who pretended to be someone else, I decided to try to put together a little guide that could help you out the next time you’re in a situation like that – wondering if said account really is Pierre/Chuck/Jeff/Seb/David or not.

1. Do a background check!

Most artists nowadays have at least one primary official presence on the internet – their official website. So before you even start following or interacting with someone from the band on any social networks, check back on the official website – usually the websites offer a set of other official links to the band’s YouTube channel, Facebook profile, Twitter account etc.

With Simple Plan it’s quite easy – even though their official website doesn’t directly link to each of the band members’ profiles on Twitter, it does link to Simple Plan’s official Twitter – @simpleplan – which retweets each and every post that Simple Plan make on their personal profiles on Twitter, so it’s very easy to find them this way. Their Twitter handles are quite easy to remember – they always consist of the person’s name and surname – e.g. @seblefebvre.

Speaking of Twitter – the easiest way how to recognize an official profile of a well-known person is to look for the verified button [little blue dot with a white check mark in the middle] that is placed next to their names on their profile. The verification process that Twitter uses to determine real and official profiles is very complicated and can be pretty long – for example Pierre was the last of Simple Plan members to receive his (earlier this year). As of right now, all the members of Simple Plan are verified on Twitter.

example of Sebastien’s official Twitter profile accompanied with the verified button

However even the verified buttons tend to get faked by some people – by placing the image of the button onto their header, making it look like they are verified. Seems smart, but who are we kidding – if you’re still unsure about a verified button, there’s a simple way how to know it’s the real deal – just place your mouse over the button – if it’s real, a “verified account” notification will pop up.

2. Watch what they post!

Unfortunately not all other media have such an easy way how to recognize a fake as Twitter does. So with Facebook, Instagram or other networks, you have to be even more cautious.

One thing is clear – other than Simple Plan’s official Facebook account, an account for Seb’s music and Man Of The Hour, there are (nor will probably ever be) any other Facebook profiles of the guys that would be open for the fans. So if you have a “Pierre Bouvier” among your friends, chances are it’s not him. The guys like to keep their personal lives private.

With that being said, fake profiles on Facebook and Instagram can also be pretty easy to spot, if you look carefully at what and how they post – if the tone of their updates matches the way they usually interact. I’m sure you’ve already managed to get a grip of how the guys act and how they don’t, so you can tell right-away that for instance when someone starts posting in a very “fangirly” way – it will probably not be the real Jeff.

Same thing applies to photos. With official profiles it’s a given that they should give away stuff that you can’t find anywhere else – such as photos or videos. In fact they should be the first ones to post it [although there are exceptions]. So if you see very generic photos on a account of one of the guys that claims to be official, make sure to double check it.

Let’s take the (as of right now) fake “SimplePlan” account on Instagram as an example – thousands of people have been convinced in the past few months that this was indeed the real Simple Plan Instagram account. Why? Probably because they managed to grab the name while it was still available and kept on “impersonating” the band when replying to people. But just because a name of the account sounds like a real deal, it doesn’t mean the profile is actually real. With this particular Instagram profile, there’s a couple of its attributes that give its fakeness away:

example of the use of bad grammar at the fake “SimplePlan” Instagram account

  • never posts new photos of the band – pictures on this profile are either from old photoshoots or they have been posted on the guys’ personal Instagrams earlier
  • tags own photos
  • pictures are either edited – not just in the typically “vintage” way we all know from Instagram, but by using Microsoft Paint [and trust me, if Simple Plan would put out edited pictures – e.g. with text on it, it would be well-made] – or “borrowed” from Tumblr
  • uses bad grammar
  • deletes some of the comments that suggest it’s a fake
  • and finally: no official Simple Plan account/website ever links to it

On that note – Simple Plan are actually currently trying to contact the owner of this account (“SimplePlan” on Instagram) to try to get the name back and actually use it for the band’s purposes. So if you are the one in charge of it, please get in touch with their management – Coalition Entertainment.

3. Ask around!

If you’re already went through all the previous advice and still are skeptical about the profile, you can always try to find out if the profile’s real or fake from other fans or even better – from some already confirmed profile.

When it comes to Simple Plan, the guys reply to fans on Twitter a lot, in fact it’s the only social network where they do, so you can always ask the guys directly. Although sometimes getting such reply can take a long time because the guys get thousands of them every day, so when it comes to dealing with fake profiles, you can always count on their management – Coalition Entertainment – and ask Jocelyn who’s in charge of all things online. You can find her at @CoalitionMUS.

But just to help you out, on you can already find an up-to-date list of all the current official profiles of Simple Plan that they frequently use online. You can see it here (or anytime right under the Internet section).

I hope the above stated advice were at least a bit useful to you and that hopefully you won’t get fooled by another account anytime soon. Just remember: double check everyone that you talk to online. Don’t wanna sound like your parents, but you never know who the person on the other side could be… it can always be a dog.