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Facebook sues over sales of fake accounts, likes and followers

Facebook announced on Friday that it is suing three people and four companies based in China for promoting the sale of fake accounts, likes and followers on the social network as well as Instagram, which is owned by Facebook. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. federal court, alleges the individuals and companies also did this on Amazon, Apple, Google, LinkedIn and Twitter.

The lawsuit, filed on behalf of Facebook and Instagram, askes the court to specifically prevent the individuals and companies from creating and promoting fake accounts; infringing on Facebook trademarks on their sites; and using Facebook-branded domain names to operate their websites. 

The people and the companies being sued were not identified. 

"Inauthentic activity has no place on our platform," Facebook said in a blog post. "That's why we devote significant resources to detecting and stopping this behavior, including disabling millions of fake accounts every day."

The social networking giant has been trying for years to crack down on fake accounts amid intense public scrutiny not just into Facebook but also Twitter and other social networks following revelations that Russian intelligence operatives used false accounts to published inaccurate reports in a bid to influence the 2016 presidential election.

In November, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg told Norah O'Donnell on "CBS This Morning" that the company has made "huge investments in taking down fake accounts." 

Last year, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in public testimony before a Senate committee that the company didn't take a "broad enough view of our responsibility."

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