The company was dedicated to selling ‘Likes’ and comments for the Facebook-owned social network.
Social validation is something constant, worrying, in social networks today. Many people need to feel validated through the comments of other users -anonymous or followers- in photos, messages, videos, etc., on the different platforms and applications that exist. And that validation is achieved with the ‘likes’ or ‘I like’, with the comments and the little hearts.
Although it can also have a commercial – promotional purpose, since an account with many followers, many likes and positive comments can attract the attention of companies and brands for advertising purposes. And therefore this has become a succulent business in which companies sell you what you need, from packages of 10,000 – 100,000 users to likes, visits, etc.
MGP25 Cyberint Services
This is what MGP25 Cyberint Services does, a company based in Madrid that is in the news today because it and its founder have been sued by Facebook Inc. (and Facebook Ireland) no less in the Madrid commercial court for this very reason: For providing “Automated software to distribute false ‘Likes’ and comments on Instagram”.
The defendant’s service was designed to “evade Instagram’s restrictions against false commitments by mimicking the official Instagram app in the way it connected to our systems.” The defendants did this for profit, and continued to do so “even after we sent a Cessation and Desist letter and deactivated their accounts,” so legal action has been the final recourse for FB.
Data scrapping Massroot8
But they weren’t the only ones, as the social media giant also sued Mohammad Zaghar in San Francisco federal court for operating a data scraping service – extracting data from Web sites to transport them to a simpler format and Malleable for easy analysis and crossing – called Massroot8.
This service asked people to “provide their Facebook login credentials on the Massroot website8. The credentials were used by the Zaghar service to scrape the data of Facebook users” using a computer program to control a network. of bots, which purported to be an Android device connected to the official Facebook mobile app. The accused committed this abuse even “after Facebook sent a Cessation and Desist letter and deactivated their accounts.”
An almost pioneering demand
According to the Facebook statement, this is “one of the first times that a social media company uses coordinated and multi-jurisdictional litigation to enforce its Conditions and protect its users. The defendants in the European lawsuit operated a Spain-based forgery of commitments service, and the defendant in the US lawsuit operated a data scraping service with links to California. ”
These lawsuits also allege that the defendants violated the laws of Spain and the United States, including Spain’s protections for databases and online platforms and the United States’ Fraud and Computer Abuse Law. How will the case end?