Combating Clone Sites

By Jessica Romero, Director of Platform Enforcement and Litigation

Today we filed a lawsuit in the US against Ensar Sahinturk for scraping people’s publicly-visible information from Instagram in order to create a network of clone sites. A clone site is a website that copies and displays Instagram or Facebook profiles, posts and other information without the users’ knowledge or consent. When this happens, people lose visibility and control of who is viewing their content and interacting with their account.  

Sahinturk used automation software to scrape public profiles, photos and videos from more than 100,000 Instagram accounts without Instagram’s permission and in violation of our Terms. He then published this data on a network of clone sites, where anyone could enter an Instagram username to view Instagram user profiles, pictures, videos, stories, hashtags and locations. 

We had previously disabled the defendant’s Instagram and Facebook accounts and sent cease and desist letters. We are now filing suit to obtain a permanent injunction against Sahinturk.

Data scraping undermines people’s privacy and ability to control their information, and is prohibited by our Terms. This case is the latest example of our actions to disrupt those who scrape user data as part of our ongoing commitment to protect our community, enforce our policies and hold people accountable for abusing our services.



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