Facebook reaches settlement with company selling fake Instagram likes

The company continues its war on spam.

Instagram has been struggling recently from an onslaught of spam comments, fake likes and fake follows. Now Facebook, which owns the service, has won a small victory against the spammers. The social media giant has settled a court case with a New Zealand company which sold fake likes on the platform.

The target of the court case -- Social Media Series Limited -- was accused of violating cybersecurity laws by taking payments in exchange for artificially promoting posts and accounts. Its activities were estimated to bring in $9.4 million over its period of operation, according to Facebook. The court documents detailing the lawsuit were filed in California, as reported by the Washington Post.

The agreement reached between Facebook and the company states that three people who were involved in the operation are banned from Facebook services and must pay a total of $500,000.

Facebook has instituted a site-wide crackdown on fake accounts and other fraudulent activity on its platforms. In March, it filed a lawsuit against four companies based in China for selling fake likes and followers, and last year, it removed over 1.5 billion fake accounts. It has also cracked down on spam accounts and pages, but has struggled to deal with a recent influx of porn bot comments on Instagram.