Facebook is suing a New Zealand company for US$9.4m ($14.1m) in a California Court, claiming that it sold fake followers on Instagram, which is owned by the social network.

Facebook did not name the company, but a rep for Facebook has told the Herald that it is Social Media Series – has three director shareholders: Arend Alexander Hubert Nollen of Upper Hutt, Leon Francis Hedges of Upper Hutt and David James Pekka Pasanen of Lower Hutt. Its registered business address is a private home.

The defendants operated a service that provided fake likes, views and followers to Instagram users, Romero alleges.

Social Media Series is alleged to have taken “multiple enforcement actions against defendants for violating Instagram’s TOU [terms of use] and community guidelines, including sending cease and desist letters and disabling Instagram accounts associated with defendants and their websites.”

But those efforts didn’t stop the bot schemes, which racked up an estimated US$9,430,000 in “ill-gotten profits,” the social media giants claimed.

Facebook and Instagram want the defendants banned from Instagram, forced to pay back the nearly US$9.4m sum and pay unspecified additional damages. They are also seeking costs.

Source: NZ Herald

Image: Getty images

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