Facebook on Thursday filed a lawsuit in US federal court to bar a New Zealand company from selling fake "likes," views and followers to Instagram users.
The company and three people targeted in the lawsuit operated a service to raise the profile of Instagram accounts by bolstering them with bogus followers, views and "likes," Facebook director of platform enforcement and litigation Jessica Romero said in a blog post.
"By filing the lawsuit, we are sending a message that this kind of fraudulent activity is not tolerated on our services, and we will act to protect the integrity of our platform," Romero said.
Romero did not identify the company or the individuals names in the legal complaint, which accused them of using fake businesses and websites to sell "engagement services" to Instagram users looking to buy status.
Such activity violates terms of service at Facebook-owned Instagram.
She described the lawsuit as part of an ongoing effort to prevent fraudulent activity at its family of services, which includes photo and video sharing social network Instagram.
Facebook and other online social platforms have been under pressure to prevent deception and misinformation.