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Facebook Lawsuit Goes After Sellers Of Fake Accounts

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To tackle “fraudulent activity” on its platform, Facebook and Instagram are suing four companies and individuals in China. The case is over the sale of fake accounts, followers and likes, according to a post from the company.

Facebook Vice President and Deputy General Counsel of Litigation Paul Grewal said, according to the post, “Inauthentic activity has no place on our platform. That’s why we devote significant resources to detecting and stopping this behavior, including disabling millions of fake accounts every day. Today’s lawsuit is one more step in our ongoing efforts to protect people on Facebook and Instagram.”

According to the company, the suit is requesting that the court in China stop the people and entities from several actions. For starters, it is seeking to halt the promotion and creation of fake accounts, followers and likes on the platforms. It is also seeking to stop the use of domain names that are Facebook-branded and the infringement of trademarks, according to the social media company.

The news comes after Facebook expressed openness to new regulation, according to reports last month. Facebook Public Policy Manager Karim Palant said, according to Reuters, that the social media firm is “open to meaningful regulation.” The executive’s comments come amid the calls of U.K. lawmakers for large tech firms to meet a code of ethics to prevent the spread of fake news along with abuse of the platforms by users.

Palant said, according to the report, “We are open to meaningful regulation and support the committee’s recommendation for electoral law reform,” He also noted that the firm is “not the same company” even a year ago as it has brought about many changes.  The news also comes on the heels of reporting by The Wall Street Journal that the firm could pay a fine to the Federal Trade Commission in the multi-billion dollar range.

 

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Facebook is a giant in the ad game, with 2.3 billion active monthly users and $16.6 billion in quarterly advertising revenue. However, its omnipresence makes it a honeypot for fraudsters. In this month’s Digital Fraud Report, PYMNTS talks with Rob Leathern, Facebook’s director of product management, on how the site deploys automated systems and thorough advertiser vetting to close the lid on fraudster attempts.

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