Facebook Sues China-Based Firms Over Sales of Fake Accounts

Social networking platform, Facebook is suing four China-based companies and three individuals for creating and promoting the purchase of fake accounts, followers and likes on its service.

The lawsuit also concerns the creation of fake accounts on its sister photo-sharing platform, Instagram.  

In a blog post, Paul Grewal who is Facebook’s Vice President and Deputy General Counsel of Litigation, alleged that the companies and individuals violated intellectual property law in the US, using Instagram and Facebook’s brands and trademark.

Grewal also claimed that the companies created and advertised multiple fake accounts over the past two years, marketing them for purchase at Apple, Amazon, Twitter, Google, and LinkedIn in bulk quantities.

He noted that inauthentic accounts could be used for a lot of cybercrimes including phishing campaigns, spam, internet scam, advertising fraud which are profitable at a large scale.

He also disclosed that the lawsuit hopes to enforce their stand against this nature of fraudulent activity on their platform, stressing that Facebook will do whatever it takes to protect the integrity of its platform.

Using an Artificial Intelligence software they had developed, Facebook and Instagram disabled 2.1 billion fake accounts and pages from January through September last year, within minutes of the account creation.

The companies identified in the lawsuit: 9 Xiufei, 9 Xiu Feishu, 9 Xiu Shenzhen and Home Network are manufacturers and hardware and software, electronics as well as online advertising service.

Just last month, Facebook took down hundreds of Indonesian groups, pages, and account after discovering that they were in fact linked to an online group, Saracen being paid to spread fake news and incendiary material on their platform.

In January, Facebook announced two regional centers that would be focused on monitoring election-related content in wake of the Cambridge Analytical scandal that rocked the platform last year.

The lawsuit filed in a US federal court seeks an order to permanently bar the companies’ conduct on its platform.