As part of its fight against inauthentic activity on its platform, Facebook is cracking down on companies and people who are promoting the sale of fake accounts and fake engagement.
In an announcement last week, Facebook’s Vice President and Deputy General Counsel for Litigation, Paul Grewal, wrote that Facebook and Instagram have filed a lawsuit in a federal court in the US, against “four companies and three people based in the People’s Republic of China for promoting the sale of fake accounts, likes and followers.”
As Grewal explains, the companies and individuals were carrying out their business on both Facebook and Instagram, and other services like Amazon, Apple, Google, LinkedIn and Twitter. With this move, Facebook is also enforcing intellectual property law for the illegal use of its trademarks and brand by asking the court to prevent them from infringing on Facebook’s trademarks, and a practice called cyber-squatting – i.e. using Facebook-branded domain names operate their services.
Through the lawsuit, Facebook hopes “to reinforce that this kind of fraudulent activity is not tolerated” and that it will “act forcefully to protect the integrity of [its] platform.”
Despite the significant resources Facebook is dedicating to detecting and attempting to stop this behaviour, it is unlikely that it will be curbed – especially in places like China. The only thing Facebook can do is to identify and shut down Pages that employ such tactics very fast.