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Facebook sues man who sold fake Instagram likes

The company also sued a UK developer for misusing user data.
Karissa Bell, @karissabe
August 27, 2020
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ANKARA, TURKEY - DECEMBER 10: A phone screen displays the heart icon of Instagram application in Ankara, Turkey on December 10, 2019. 
 (Photo by Metin Aktas/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Facebook is once again taking the issue of fake Instagram likes to court. The company is suing a man who sold fake Instagram likes and comments as part of a “fake engagement service,” Facebook said in a statement

The service, called Nakrutka, “used a network of bots and automation software to distribute fake likes, comments, views and followers on Instagram,” according to the company. 

Facebook has filed a number of similar lawsuits against developers who misuse data or otherwise violate its terms of service. Earlier this year, the company sued a Spanish developer for selling fake Instagram likes, and sued a New Zealand company for its fake Instagram engagement service in 2019. The lawsuits are part of the social network’s pledge to take more aggressive action against rogue developers following Cambridge Analytica.

In addition to the action against Nakrutka, Facebook also sued MobiBurn, a developer that used malicious software to collect Facebook data from users. Security researchers had previously alerted Facebook that the developer “collected information from the devices and requested data from Facebook, including the person’s name, time zone, email address and gender,” when users installed apps with MobiBurn’s software. Facebook said the developer “failed to fully cooperate” with an audit. 

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