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Twitter Bots Beware: Selling Fake Followers, 'Likes' Illegal In NY

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Twitter Bots Beware: Selling Fake Followers, 'Likes' Illegal In NY
New York's attorney general announced a settlement with a company that sold activity from fake accounts to boost users' social media status.
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New York's attorney general wants to make it clear: Selling fake social media activity like followers or "likes" is illegal.

In a statement Wednesday, Attorney General Letitia James announced a settlement with a company called Devumi. 

Devumi made millions by creating fake accounts so people could purchase different social media interactions, making it look like they have more activity on their own account than they actually have.

In a report that sparked the state's investigation into the company, The New York Times said Devumi had at least 3.5 million automated fake accounts and had sold over 200 million followers to Twitter accounts. Customers came from a variety of professions: from athletes to academics to porn stars.

The attorney general's office said this settlement is the first of its kind in the U.S. and sets a precedent for what cyber companies may not be able to get away with in the future. 

James said in her statement, "As people and companies like Devumi continue to make a quick buck by lying to honest Americans, my office will continue to find and stop anyone who sells online deception."