Instagram Cracks Down on Fake Likes and Bought Engagement

Fake likes prevail on the social media platform Instagram, and now the Facebook-owned app is doing something about it. As Vice reports, Instagram recently sent the fake engagement boosting and like-buying company LikeUp.Me. a cease and desist, which has resulted in the company shutting down.

The crackdown follows a number of protocols put in place by Instagram in recent months to make its user’s content more authentic. For example, under a new Norwegian law, influencers must now tag their photos if they’ve been retouched, and Instagram itself has even changed how users can see engagement stats so they can better understand (and prove) their organic engagement.

For Instagram, engagement within its algorithm is everything — and fake likes and third-party paid-for engagement using platforms like LikeUp.Me. go against this, hence the cease and desist. The company is reportedly owned by Aleksey Bykhun, whose personal website said that the site brought in around $100,000 USD in 2020.

Now, it has been shut down. The site’s landing page now reads, “Sorry, LikeUp isn’t working :(… This service will no longer work. Sorry. Refunds for the last month are being processed.” Vice‘s tech site Motherboard also heard from Facebook via email, which told Motherboard “fake engagement violates the platform’s rules, and that Facebook takes action against such companies when discovered.”

Elsewhere, there’s currently a new legal battle regarding McDonald’s notoriously always broken McFlurry machines.
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