It comes courtesy of an internet marketer I've bought software from in the past - his latest product is one that produces "fake" Facebook Live viewers, Likes, and so on:
I blocked out the bottom portion of the ad (complete with the guy in his fancy sports car) because (A) I don't want to personally bash the guy and (B) I don't want to openly promote a product that tricks people.
And that is the point of today's note - tricking people is never a good way to build a business or brand.
Yes, shortcuts are everywhere online these days.
You can "buy" fake views for your YouTube channel over on Fiverr, you can do "black hat" SEO tricks to have your website rank higher on Google, you can even "fake" the number of people watching your Facebook Live videos now.
The good news for you and me is this - In the long run, authenticity and value always win.