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Facebook files lawsuits against two companies for selling fake Instagram likes, followers

By Christian Imperio Published Oct 21, 2020 2:22 am

Not a cool way to expand your influence.

Facebook has filed separate lawsuits against four individuals for providing services intended to artificially inflate likes and followers on Instagram.

In a recent blog post, the social media giant claimed that Sean Heilweil and Jarrett Lusso's boostgram.com used a network of bots to automate the delivery of likes and followers of some Instagram users. Facebook also accused Laila Abou Trabi and Robin Abou Trabi from Dubai for using Instant-fans.com to provide fake engagement to their clients’ Instagram accounts through a network of bots and automation software.

Facebook said that Boostgram profited from their services which include offering users a way to “increase Instagram exposure.” Instant-fans.com, on the other hand, also offered fake engagement services for Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest and other web services, according to the company.

“They provide fake engagement services to both individual customers as well as other fake engagement services known as 'commercial resellers' of fake engagement,” Facebook said.

The social media gaint noted that it had previously sent cease and desist letters notifying the defendants that their activities violated Instagram’s Terms of Use, Policies, and Community Guidelines.

“We are now filing suit to obtain a permanent injunction against the defendants, who have continued to violate our Terms,” it added.

The move is part of the ongoing effort of the mother company to remove inauthentic likes, follows and comments from Instagram accounts that use third-party apps in order to boost their social media presence.

Meanwhile, Facebook said that it also disabled accounts and sent cease and desist letters to businesses allegedly running online scams to lure some users. The social media giant said seven businesses located in Asia and Europe used Facebook and Instagram to defraud online users who purchased items from their sites.

“When someone clicked the link in the ad to buy a product, the user was redirected to a third-party website to complete their purchase,” Facebook said. “After paying for the item, the user either never received the item or received an item that is different than the item described in the ad. In all cases, people were unable to return items or obtain a refund.”

Facebook said that the recent legal actions demonstrate their ongoing commitment to protect their users by enforcing their policies and holding people accountable for abusing their services.