MAFS star busted buying 40,000 fake Instagram followers

Married At First Sight groom Nasser Sultan, who is one of the most controversial participants to appear on the reality show, has approximately 40,000 fake followers on Instagram.

Yahoo Lifestyle can reveal that almost half of the self-proclaimed ‘social commentator’ and season five star's followers are bots, mostly based in Turkey and Iran.

MAFS' Nasser Sultan.
MAFS’ Nasser Sultan has approximately 40,000 fake followers on Instagram. Photo: Channel Nine

Statistics collected by social media analytics website Social Blade show that from August 2021 to August 2022, the 55-year-old's following has more than doubled from 42,000 to 88,500.

Over the last 12 months, his account has gradually grown by several thousand each month, yet for the three years prior to August 2021, it had zero growth and gradually lost followers each month.

An audit of his account through influencer analysis website Hype Auditor also shows that Nasser has an engagement rate of just 0.07% – meaning that on average, just 62 of his 88,500 followers like each of his posts.


When Nasser's season of Married At First Sight wrapped in April 2018, the star boasted 70,000 genuine followers at the peak of his popularity. By October 2018, he had dropped to 40,000 followers as fans turned off him due to his online trolling, and he then remained at that number until August 2021.

Instagram users often buy fake bot followers from ‘follow farms’ to make themselves look more popular, and you can buy 5,000 fake followers for as little as $39.99 on some websites.

It is unclear whether Nasser bought the fake followers himself or if someone purchased them for him.

When asked for comment, Nasser told Yahoo Lifestyle: "If someone can buy me or show me how to obtain them I’ll be happy to take them.

"Maybe I should put out a video asking people to show me how? Because apparently if you have lots you can become an influencer."

MAFS' Nasser Sultan.
Nasser has an engagement rate of just 0.07% - meaning that on average, just 62 of his 88,500 followers like each of his posts. Photo: Channel Nine

Season nine stars lose thousands of followers

The incident comes as this year’s MAFS cast members are collectively losing thousands of Instagram followers a week, with fan favourite bride Domenica Calarco losing almost 4,000 in the last 30 days.

Social Blade statistics show some cast members losing hundreds of fans a day alone as viewers of the reality show turn their back on them.

In the last 30 days, Dom has been unfollowed by 3,990 people, dropping her to 574,718 total fans. Similarly, Brent Vitiello has lost 3,030 followers in the last 30 days and now has 457,482, and Ella Ding has lost 810, leaving her with 600,868.

A social media manager recently told Yahoo Lifestyle that it was normal for fans to slowly unfollow reality TV stars as the hype dies down and they realise they aren't interested in their day-to-day content.

“Another reason is people quickly grow tired of seeing sponsored posts and adverts in their news feeds,” they said.

“Influencers have to work hard to balance their monetised content alongside organic posts if they want to sustain their following, and still grow it post-show.”

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