Facebook files lawsuits against MGP25 Cyberint Services in Spain and against Massroot8 in the US for scrapping data and selling Instagram likes
Facebook is getting tough on websites that sell Facebook and Instagram likes and followers. The social media giant filed separate lawsuits in Europe against MGP25 Cyberint Services and the US against Massroot8 on Thursday for scrapping Facebook and Instagram data and selling likes and followers to buyers.
Facebook sued Massroot8 and its creator, Mohamed Zaghar in a Northern District of Texas before Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler. Facebook accused the Massroot8 creator of collecting and transmitting Facebook users’ data without authorization. According to the lawsuit filed by Facebook, Zaghar allegedly operated a “mobile scraping” service which offered its users “the ability to scrape their Facebook friends’ contact information,” including email addresses and birth dates.
Massroot8.com required potential buyers to login using their Facebook credentials. To convince individuals to provide their Facebook login credentials, Zaghar allegedly used a program designed to emulate Facebook’s official Android app. According to the complaint, “Between April 23, 2020, and May 6, 2020, Zaghar’s service used approximately 5,500 Facebook users’ credentials to obtain, through automated means, their Facebook Friends’ email ids, profile info, and other details.” Facebook adds that despite a Cease and Desist letter and disabling his Facebook accounts, Zaghar continued to operate the Massroot8 website.
Facebook claims to have suffered damages “in excess of $75,000” as a result of Zaghar’s conduct. Facebook seeks an award of punitive damages and “an injunction restraining Zaghar from accessing” the website.
Similarly, Facebook has filed a case in Spain against a company called MGP25 Cyberint Services. In this particular lawsuit, Facebook claims MGP25 Cyberint Services operates an online website that sells Instagram likes and comments.
“The defendant’s service was designed to evade Instagram’s restrictions against fake engagement by mimicking the official Instagram app in the way that it is connected to our systems,” Jessica Romero, Director of Platform Enforcement and Litigation said today. MPG25 Cyberint Services is located in MADRID, Spain and has 2 total employees across all of its locations and generates $77,000 in annual sales.
Facebook claims that like Massroot8, MGP25 Cyberint Services website was designed to evade Instagram’s restrictions against fake engagement by mimicking the official Instagram app. Facebook alleged that the defendants did this for profit, and continued to do so even after it sent a Cease and Desist letter and disabled their accounts.
At the time of writing this article, both Massroot8 and MGP25 Cyberint Services are down.