Facebook sues website owner who scraped 100,000 Instagram profiles

The suit is the latest legal action from Facebook over platform abuse.

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Karissa Bell
November 19th, 2020
A visitor takes a picture of the Instagram application logo at the Young Entrepreneurs fair in Paris, France, February 7, 2018. REUTERS/Charles Platiau
Charles Platiau / Reuters

Facebook has filed another lawsuit against a developer who misused its platform. The company said it’s suing Ensar Sahinturk, who allegedly ran a network of cloned Instagram sites using information scraped from public profiles.

According to Facebook, Sahinturk, who is a Turkish national, scraped details from thousands of public Instagram profiles in order to create his sites. “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,” Facebook writes in a statement. “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.”

The suit is the latest legal action from Facebook as it takes more aggressive steps against developers who misuse its platform. The company has also gone after companies and developers selling likes and other forms of fake Instagram engagement.

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