Facebook Files Lawsuit Over Cloning of Instagram Accounts

The social network accused Ensar Sahinturk of using automation software to scrape users’ publicly visible information

Clone sites display profiles, posts and other information from Facebook or Instagram without the knowledge or consent of users andriano_cz/iStock

Facebook filed a lawsuit in the U.S. Thursday aimed at preventing the creation of clone sites.

The social network accused Ensar Sahinturk of using automation software to scrape Instagram users’ publicly visible information and create a network of clone sites, or websites that copy and display profiles, posts and other information from Facebook or Instagram without the knowledge or consent of users.

Director of platform enforcement and litigation Jessica Romero said in a Newsroom post Thursday that Sahinturk scraped over 100,000 Instagram accounts and published data from those accounts on a network of clone sites, where people could enter Instagram usernames to view profiles, pictures, videos, Stories, hashtags and locations.

She added that Sahinturk’s Facebook and Instagram accounts were already disabled, and he was sent cease and desist letters, so Facebook was seeking a permanent injunction.

Romero wrote, “Data scraping undermines people’s privacy and ability to control their information, and it is prohibited by our terms. This case is the latest example of our actions to disrupt those who scrape user data as part of our ongoing commitment to protect our community, enforce our policies and hold people accountable for abusing our services.”


david.cohen@adweek.com David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.
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