Instagram Lotteries to Increase Followers Class Action

The social media platform Instagram is part of the Facebook empire. Instead of “Friends,” those with Instagram accounts count “Followers.” This class action brings suit against Jamie Barbary, also known as Jamie Engelhardt, or Engelhardt & Co., LLC, alleging that he or his company runs illegal lotteries to increase the number of Instagram followers.

The complaint says, “Users with a large number of followers and [who] regularly generate content are called ‘influencers’ due to their ability to influence consumer behavior. Influencers monetize their status by charging advertisers a fee to create and place advertisements on their feeds and stories.”

A number of ways exist for influencers to post content on behalf of an advertiser. Advertising must normally follow Federal Trade Commission (FTC) advertising guidelines, for example, by acknowledging that certain advertising content is the product of a “paid partnership” and not the influencer’s uninfluenced opinion.

While the amount an influencer is paid varies according to a number of factors, a baseline formula exists: $100 x 10,000 followers + extras = total rate.

Because influencers’ numbers of followers directly affects the amount of money they are paid, they often spend time and effort to gain more followers. The complaint claims that some use methods like giveaway, “follow for follow” arrangements, or purchasing likes “that are both illegal and a violation of Instagram policies” to obtain more followers.

The defendants in this case, the complaint alleges, “use yet another unscrupulous method whereby they run illegal lotteries and advise ‘influencers’ to lie in order to convince Instagram users to take part in their games of chance.”

What do they do? The complaint claims they “use cash prizes as incentives and run these so[-]called ‘cash giveaways’ by asking users to like a plethora of unrelated accounts in order to enter a game of chance and win prizes with a total value of $5,000 or more.” These lotteries do not provide required information like the odds of winning, when the drawing will be done, and where the prize is from.

The complaint alleges, “Jamie Barbary collects money from hundreds of Instagram profile holders looking to artificially increase the numbers of their followers.” According to their website, the complaint claims, the Instagram profile holders pay a price per follower, depending on the “package” of services they select.

The counts include the operation of illegal Florida lotteries, unjust enrichment, negligent misrepresentation, and violations of Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act.

The class for the action is referred to in the complaint but never fully defined. It seems to be those who have participated in the defendants’ lotteries in hopes of winning one of the prizes, but who never did win.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer

Most Recent Case Event

Instagram Lotteries to Increase Followers Complaint

June 20, 2020

The social media platform Instagram is part of the Facebook empire. Instead of “Friends,” those with Instagram accounts count “Followers.” This class action brings suit against Jamie Barbary, also known as Jamie Engelhardt, or Engelhardt & Co., LLC, alleging that he or his company runs illegal lotteries to increase the number of Instagram followers.

Instagram Lotteries to Increase Followers Complaint

Case Event History

Instagram Lotteries to Increase Followers Complaint

June 20, 2020

The social media platform Instagram is part of the Facebook empire. Instead of “Friends,” those with Instagram accounts count “Followers.” This class action brings suit against Jamie Barbary, also known as Jamie Engelhardt, or Engelhardt & Co., LLC, alleging that he or his company runs illegal lotteries to increase the number of Instagram followers.

Instagram Lotteries to Increase Followers Complaint
Tags: Lotteries, Negligent Misrepresentation