June 2, 2023


Breaking News Breaf

Facebook attacks seller of millions of fake likes and followers on Instagram

To measure the influence of an Internet user on a social network, we generally refer to quantified indicators such as the quantity of reactions – or “commitments” – to their publications (shares, “likes”, comments …), his number of “friends” (or the ratio between the number of accounts he follows and the number that follow him: having 10,000 subscribers may seem like a lot, but if the account follows 200,000 people the disproportion does not is not flattering).

So social networks have for years aroused, reluctantly, an industry of “fake”, click merchants who for a fee sell you “friends” or subscribers (“followers”), “likes” on your posts, comments etc. This does not suit the said social networks, whose metrics are thus distorted by smart kids, just as customer review sites such as TripAdvisor fight against the authors of bogus comments.

READ ALSO> TripAdvisor: authors of fake reviews sometimes risk a lot … to jail

Facebook announced Thursday, August 27 to sue, in California, a developer based in Belarus in Minsk, named Nikolay Holper, for having set up in 2017 a false commitments service called Nakrutka, still active at the time of filing. complaint. According to Facebook, Holper was using a bot network, automated software, and Instagram accounts to “Broadcast fakes I like, comments, views and followers on Instagram ».

8 million “likes” in a few days

According to Facebook’s complaint (61 pages), which specifies that in 2020 there are more than one billion active Instagram accounts worldwide, several websites had been created to sell these services. Some of the Instagram accounts used by Nakrutka generated 8 million “likes” in just two days, the complaint says. Nakrutka’s site is entirely in Russian.

Two years ago, the company reported that in the first quarter of 2018, it had deleted 583 million fake accounts in the first quarter alone. A task so enormous that it is very largely delegated to software.

How Instagram became the realm of pervasive fake

This is not the first time that Facebook has attempted to put an end to such circumvention of its rules. TechCrunch tech news site highlights:

“A lot of Instagram users, for example, participate in ‘pods’ where they systematically coordinate ‘likes’ and cross comments between their posts, to cheat Instagram’s algorithms. “

Simultaneously, Facebook brought a complaint in the UK against the companies MobiBurn and Oak Smart, and their founder and sole shareholder Fatih Haltas, after finding that these companies were collecting user data on Facebook and other social networks, by paying application developers: in return, they installed malicious code in their applications, allowing them to retrieve the person’s name, time zone, email address and gender.

Since the Cambridge Analytica scandal in 2018, Mark Zuckerberg’s company has become much more alert to this type of abuse, which has earned it very bad publicity worldwide.