Preventing Inauthentic Behavior on Instagram

By Jessica Romero, Director of Platform Enforcement and Litigation

Today Facebook and Instagram filed a lawsuit in US federal court against one company and three people based in New Zealand. The defendants operated a service that provided fake likes, views and followers to Instagram users. The complaint alleges the company and individuals used different companies and websites to sell fake engagement services to Instagram users. We previously suspended accounts associated with the defendants and formally warned them in writing that they were in violation of our Terms of Use, however 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.

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 our Terms of Use and Community Guidelines
  • 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Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and other California laws for distributing fake likes on Instagram even after their access was revoked and their accounts were suspended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.

Today’s lawsuit is one more step in our ongoing efforts to protect people and prevent inauthentic behavior on Facebook and Instagram.

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