Facebook and its subsidiary Instagram have filed a lawsuit in US federal court against one company and three people based in New Zealand, saying the defendants operated a service that provided fake likes, views and followers to Instagram users.
Facebook's Director of Platform Enforcement and Litigation, Jessica Romero, announced the legal action in a post today.
“The complaint alleges the company and individuals used different companies and websites to sell fake engagement services to Instagram users,” Ms Romero wrote.
"By filing the lawsuit, we are sending a message that this kind of fraudulent activity is not tolerated on our services, and we will act to protect the integrity of our platform.”
Ms Romero said the lawsuit specifically asks the court to prevent the defendants from:
- Engaging and profiting in the sale of fake likes, views and followers on Instagram
- Violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and other California laws for distributing fake likes on Instagram even after their access was revoked and their accounts were suspended
“Inauthentic activity has no place on our platform. That’s why we devote significant resources to detecting and stopping this behavior, including blocking the creation and use of fake accounts, and using machine learning technology to proactively find and remove inauthentic activity from Instagram,” Ms Romero stated.
“Today’s lawsuit is one more step in our ongoing efforts to protect people and prevent inauthentic behavior on Facebook and Instagram,” he statement concluded.