Friends and followers of 23-year-old Elissa Stone felt shocked and betrayed this Thursday when it was discovered that she was the 11th “like” on her own Instagram photo.
Stone posted the photo, which was a #TBT of her 2008 Sweet Sixteen, at 12:01 AM Thursday. She checked the app the moment she woke up eight hours later, and was crestfallen that the names of her ten “likers” were just out in the open, exposed, for everyone to see on their news feeds.
“I couldn’t bear to go into work with an under-11 at the top of everyone’s Instagram feeds,” says Stone, a social media manager at a branding company. “It was a desperate time that called for desperate measures.”
“The solution was so simple, yet so risky if I got caught,” explains Stone. “I really hoped no one would notice it was me who did it. I guess my followers understand Instagram’s intricacies as well as I do.”
Stone had been saving the photo, among many others, for a #TBT since she visited her parents in Westchester last weekend.
“This is the reason Elissa spent all of last Saturday in our attic looking through old photo albums?” says her mother Marjorie Stone, her voice riddled with disappointment. “What a waste of a #TBT.”
The caption read, “#TBT to my #Sweet16, back in March #2008! #memories #birthday #birthdaycake #cake #candle #candles #celebrate #instabirthday #instagood #braces #lol #hawt,” followed by the woman dancing in a red dress emoji.
“I feel deceived, like I can’t trust elissaaaa531 anymore,” reports insta_annie19, one of Stone’s 328 followers, in an Instagram direct message attached to a photo of her carpet. “I would unfollow her, but I’m nervous she might unfollow me back, and I really can’t afford that.”
Insta_annie19 has been following Stone, AKA elissaaaa531, since she posted a #TBT in October of her 12-year-old self with Princess Jasmine at Disney World.
“Was that even really Princess Jasmine? Is anything real? I just don’t know anymore.”
Instagram has placed Stone’s account on hold while it investigates the fraud.