What just happened? If you’re an Instagram user, you’ve probably experienced some of its many problems, which include fake followers and Likes. But owner Facebook is fighting back against those behind the schemes, having reached a settlement with a New Zealand company that sold fake Likes.
As reported by the Washington Post, the company, called Social Media Series Limited, took payments from users to artificially inflate the popularity of photos and accounts on Instagram, thereby violating 1980s federal cybersecurity law.
It was reported last month that Facebook and the firm had asked the court to halt proceedings as the pair looked to settle the matter. Now, we know the terms of that agreement.
Social Media Series wasn’t earning small change from its alleged misdeeds. According to Facebook, the firm brought in an estimated $9.4 million during its period of operation.
The settlement will see the three individuals who ran Social Media Series Limited banned from Facebook’s services. The defendants must also pay $500,000, according to court documents filed in federal court in California.
Earlier this year, Facebook launched its platform enforcement and litigation team, which has since filed six lawsuits against those it alleges have broken the rules, which include “threatening users with scams, violating their privacy or posing other real-world harms,” notes the Post.
Earlier this year, Facebook filed similar suits against four Chinese companies that were also allegedly selling fake Facebook and Instagram Likes and Followers. Those cases are still pending.