What differentiates influence and manipulation? While different, Social Media blurs them significantly. Influence may sway behaviour positively based on real or perceived authority, relationships, or knowledge of those impacted. Manipulation, by contrast, is viewed negatively to sway behaviour in favour of the manipulator. First, look at intention, why the activity takes place, and who benefits. Next, look at how much (or little) information is shared, its nature, veracity, and context. Finally, examine the impact and outcome and who it favours in the short and long term. You may find that Social Media influencers are often simply manipulators only benefitting themselves.