Maria Montero

Instagram files lawsuit against New Zealand company for …

Facebook Thursday filed a lawsuit in US federal court to prevent a New Zealand business from selling fake “likes”, opinions and followers to Instagram users.

The company and three people selected in the lawsuit operated a service to raise the profile of Instagram accounts by bolstering them with fake followers, opinions and “likes,” Facebook litigation and law enforcement director Jessica Romero said in a blog.

“By filing the lawsuit, we are sending a message that this type of fraudulent activity is not tolerated on our services and we will act to protect the integrity of our platform,” Romero said.

Romero did not identify the names of the company or the individuals in the legal complaint, which accused them of using bogus businesses and websites to sell “participation services” to Instagram users looking to buy the state.

Such activity violates the terms of service on Instagram, owned by Facebook.

“Previously, we suspended the accounts associated with the defendants and formally advised them in writing that they were in violation of our Terms of Use, however, their activity persisted,” Romero said.

She described the lawsuit as part of an ongoing effort to prevent fraudulent activity across her family of services, which includes a social network of photos and videos to share on Instagram.

Facebook and other online social platforms have been under pressure to avoid deception and misinformation.

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