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Facebook Sues New Zealand Firm For Instagram Fraud

In March, Facebook sued many Chinese companies that were found to have been selling likes and followers on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and other social platforms

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FILE - A 3D printed Facebook logo is seen in front of a displayed Russian flag in this photo illustration, Aug. 3, 2018. VOA

In order to “protect the integrity” of its platform, social networking giant Facebook has sued a New Zealand based fraud company that sold inauthentic likes, views and followers for Instagram posts and accounts for an undisclosed amount.

Facebook estimates that the company, Social Media Series Limited, run by Arend Nollen, Leon Hedges and David Pasanen earned around $9.4 million through such social media bot operations that allowed users to buy between 50 and 2,000 fake Instagram likes for between $10 and $99 per week, The Verge reported on Friday.

The social networking giant filed a lawsuit in the US Federal Court against Social Media Series Limited, accusing the company of engaging and profiting in the sale of fake likes, views and followers on Instagram, violating Facebook’s Terms of Use and Community Guidelines and violating the Californian “Computer Fraud” and “Abuse Act” for indulging into fake social engagement activities.

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FILE – The Instagram icon is displayed on a mobile screen in Los Angeles. VOA

“By filing the lawsuit, we are sending a message that this kind of fraudulent activity is not tolerated on our services, and we will act to protect the integrity of our platform,” Jessica Romero, Director of Platform Enforcement and Litigation at Facebook wrote in a blog-post.

Facebook says, previously it has not only warned the New Zealand-based company about their violations in writing, but also suspended accounts associated with the firm, despite which the company continued their illegal practices using a fake company name.

“Inauthentic activity has no place on our platform. That’s why we devote significant resources to detecting and stopping this behaviour, including blocking the creation and use of fake accounts, and using machine learning technology to proactively find and remove inauthentic activity from Instagram,” Romero added.

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In March, Facebook sued many Chinese companies that were found to have been selling likes and followers on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and other social platforms, The Verge added. (IANS)

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Instagram Removes IGTV Shortcut Button Due to Lack of Use

It also said social media media platforms would extend end-to-end encryption from WhatsApp to include Instagram Direct and all of Facebook Messenger, though it could take years to complete, TechCrunch reports

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Instagram app logo is displayed on a mobile screen in Los Angeles. VOA

Facebook-owned Instagram has removed the IGTV shortcut button from the top right corner of the app’s home screen because not enough people are interacting with it.

Instagram launched IGTV in 2018 in an effort to compete with YouTube, but then TikTok came along. Before IGTV, Instagram had only allowed people post videos that were 60 seconds or shorter.

Almost seven million of Instagram’s one billion-plus users have downloaded its standalone IGTV app in the 18 months since launch. For reference, TikTok received 1.15 billion downloads in the same period since IGTV launched, TechCrunch reports.

“Very few are clicking into the IGTV icon in the top right corner of the home screen in the Instagram app… We always aim to keep Instagram as simple as possible, so we’re removing this icon based on these learnings and feedback from our community,” the report quoted a Facebook spokesperson.

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Instagram, which, according to Statista, has 69 million users in India, is currently testing direct shopping in the US and plans to bring it to more markets in the future. Pixabay

Additionally, Instagram has started testing its direct messaging feature to its desktop site, meaning now one can finally keep up with their conversations from browser.

Facebook’s plans to allow Instagram DMs over the web were first revealed last year by noted app leaker Jane Manchun Wong.

Also Read: Electric Vehicle Maker Tesla Denies Driver Complaints of Sudden Unintended Acceleration: Report

With the upcoming update, users will be able to create chats from the profile screen via a newly added “message” button and one may also able to share posts to others via DM as well as receive notifications on desktop if the browser supports it.

It also said social media media platforms would extend end-to-end encryption from WhatsApp to include Instagram Direct and all of Facebook Messenger, though it could take years to complete, TechCrunch reports. (IANS)