Science & Tech

Instagram shuts down service that charges for fake ‘likes’ in crackdown on fake influencers

Instagram shuts down service that charges for fake ‘likes’ in crackdown on fake influencers

Instagram has sent a cease and desist letter to a service charging for fake likes and engagement on the platform, according to Motherboard, which doesn’t bode well for other apps and companies providing similar social media services.

Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, is cracking down on inauthentic likes and followers on its platform, and has even been known to “lock” users out who appear to be utilising apps and/or services that provide the artificial acclaim — not just those who provide them.

Since receiving the cease and disease, the aforementioned service, called “LikeUp.Me,” has seemingly entirely shut down. The now defunct site displays a message that states, “This service will no longer work. Sorry. Refunds for the last month are being processed.”

Motherboard first became aware of the cease and desist when Aleksey Bykhun, who they later discovered to be the CEO of LikeUp.Me, reached out to the publication via email. “I’m looking for a small consultation in answering to the C&D letter from Facebook,” Bykhun said. However Bykhun blocked Motherboard when asked for comment regarding LikeUp.Me.

LikeMe.Up is a Chrome extension which advertises free likes and followers to Instagram users, which violates Instagram, and therefore and Facebook’s, guidelines.

A Facebook spokesperson told Motherboard that “fake engagement violates the platform’s rules, and that Facebook takes action against such companies when discovered.” In this case, it came in the form of a cease and desist demand — though it’s not not the first time Facebook has threatened legal action in an effort to fight fake likes, followers and/or comments on the platform.

Earlier this year, Instagram sent cease and desists to members of the “OGUsers” community, a service wherein users can buy, trade and/or sell stolen social media accounts and usernames, falsely skyrocketing certain handles to social media infamy.

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