Jessica Goodfellow
Apr 29, 2019

Facebook sues 'follower-buying' firm

The lawsuit forms part of Facebook's "ongoing efforts to prevent inauthentic behaviour" on its platforms.

Facebook sues 'follower-buying' firm

Facebook is suing a New Zealand company for allegedly selling fake likes, views and followers to Instagram users.

The lawsuit, filed in US federal court, is targeting the three individuals that run ‘follower-buying service’ Social Media Series Limited.

The complaint alleges the individuals have used different companies and websites to sell fake engagement services to Instagram users.

In a blog post published last week, Facebook said it had previously suspended accounts associated with the defendants and formally warned them in writing that they were in violation of its ‘Terms of Use’, but that their “activity persisted”.

“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,” wrote Facebook director of platform enforcement and litigation Jessica Romero.

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 Facebook’s Terms of Use and Community Guidelines; and violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and other California laws for distributing fake likes on Instagram.

Facebook said the lawsuit is “one more step” in its ongoing efforts to prevent inauthentic behaviour on its platforms.

“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,” the blog post read.

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