In light of recent events which I won’t mention (Cough* insta-celebrity fraud, theft, lying *Cough) here are a few simple rules for being able to spot the fake celebrities who plague our social media sites.

1. All the cringy happy pics

If your favorite Instagramer/Tweeter/Facebooker/YouTuber is posting all kinds of ‘my life is so happy’ pictures and videos. And shows no signs of real human emotion, tests, and feelings, then they probably lying about how happy and perfect their lives really are. Real people have good days and bad days, struggles and victories, and don’t feel the need to prove the world how happy they are on social media all the time.

2. They get too personal

Islam teaches us to keep certain aspects of our lives private. In the age of social media, we just don’t seem to get that. So let me spell it out in plain simple English: “Don’t post overly personal and private pictures and videos all over the internet.” and don’t follow the accounts of people who do. Stick to that which is beneficial, and you will be safe.

3. They ask for money…often and never show where it goes

There are genuine social media accounts that raise funds for great causes. No doubt about it. These accounts and transparent and will show you exactly where your money is going. Then there are random Insta-couples asking for donations for ‘charity’. That’s a red flag. Never give money to anyone who can’t show you where the money is going.

4. They are obsessed with being liked

Riya – the Hidden Shirk. Showing off is a major sin and a minor Shirk. So if someone is obsessed with likes, followers and subscribers, and not so much with truth especially when it is not popular, then run away. They are not worth following.

5. They have no qualifications in what they do

Qualifications aren’t everything. Sometimes people become experts through experience and private study. But I doubt a young twenty-something has enough experience and private study to suddenly be an expert in whatever Islamic field he/she claims to be an expert in. Take your knowledge from qualified Islamic teachers, and not random ‘celebrity YouTubers’.

So that’s it, folks. Pretty straightforward. Stick to people of knowledge, avoid the glitz and glamour of unqualified social media stars, and don’t give money away to strangers. Do this and you won’t be conned by any fakers out there in shaa Allah.

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