In an announcement on Thursday, Facebook detailed a number of lawsuits it has filed in the United States and the United Kingdom, including one that targets ‘abuse’ of the platform in the form of paid-for likes, comments, views, and followers. In this case, the lawsuit is against a developer accused of repeatedly violating Facebook’s Terms by offering these services.
It’s no secret that for the right price, you can pay random developers and services for a certain number of ‘likes,’ followers, comments, and views on your social media accounts. These services target all of the popular social media platforms, including Twitter, YouTube, and — as the new lawsuit details — Instagram.
There are various reasons one may want to purchase these engagements, and they usually have less to do with appearing popular than they do with positioning oneself as an influencer to gain sponsor gigs, enable monetization, or any other number of financially-motivated reasons.
Facebook says that it has sued Nikolay Holper over the alleged operation of a fake social media engagement service called Nakrutka. The lawsuit was filed in a San Francisco federal court, where Facebook accuses Holper of using ‘different websites to sell fake engagement services to Instagram users.’
Instagram and its parent company Facebook claim that Holper was previously served a cease and desist letter and had accounts disabled that were allegedly associated with him and the service. Facebook claims that it previously warned Holper over the violation of its Terms, stating that its lawsuit is intended to:
…protect people who use our services, hold those who abuse our platform accountable, and advance the state of the law around data misuse and privacy.