Fake followers' case: SIT summons Chtrbox CEO, wife for questioning

Updated: 24 July, 2020 18:50 IST | Faizan Khan | Mumbai

SIT called Chtrbox CEO Pranay Swaroop and his wife Julie Kriegshaber and fashion blogger Ankita Arora for questioning in connection with fake social media followers racket at 12:30 pm.

Photo used for representational purposes
Photo used for representational purposes

The State Investigation Team (SIT) on Friday called Chtrbox CEO Pranay Swaroop and his wife Julie Kriegshaber and fashion blogger Ankita Arora for questioning in connection with fake social media followers racket at 12:30 pm.

Apart from these three, model and actress Aashi Sharma was also summoned by the SIT. Aashi Sharma told the police that she is in Delhi and her statement can be recorded through video conferencing.

Mumbai Crime: SIT Arrest 29-Year-Old Accused In Fake Followers Racket

Chtrbox is one of India's leading influencer marketing platform, connecting brands to social media influencers. They help marketers discover and collaborate with creators, bloggers, social media influencers, and passionate fans of their brand. Brands benefit by gaining customer attention, real engagement, and grow their business.

Last year, Chtrbox faced allegations of leaking private data of 49 million Instagram users.

Chtrbox issued a statement on Friday saying that Chtrbox founder and CEO Pranay Swarup and Chtrbox COO Julie Kriegshaber met with the SIT on July 24 to guide and support the authorities in their investigation.

“Pranay & Julie were asked to clarify key metrics used when assessing influencers. They have sufficient experience in the same, and have built services to help identify influencers using bot followers & engagement. We urge the members of the media to kindly approach us for any clarification or information and corroborate the facts before filing any stories,” the statement read.

Mumbai Police Probe Reveals 10 Celebrities Paid Dollars For Fake Tweets, Facebook Likes

Meanwhile, inspector Sachin Vaze, SIT, said, “We met with Chtrbox CEO Pranay Swarup and Chtrbox COO Julie Kriegshaber as they understand how to assess social media metrics and influencer marketing. They are neither accused nor suspected in the case of fake followers.”

The SIT team has so far identified 68 portals that are engaged in the supply of such fake followers/views/likes etc. The arrested person belongs one of these 68 portals.

Give Us Details Of 150 Celebs' Accounts, Mumbai Police Tell Social Media Sites

The Mumbai Crime Branch, which is investigating a social media marketing fraud, is likely to question two leading actresses of Bollywood. The inquiry has revealed that 10 celebrities are among the people who enhanced their social media performance by paying dollars for fake tweets, Facebook likes, comments, etc.

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First Published: 24 July, 2020 11:40 IST

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