21 Oct 2010

Facebook goes after spammers in court

Facebook has filed lawsuits against two individuals and a corporation it accuses of spreading spam on the social networking site. The suits were filed against Stephen Richter and Jason Swan, both from Long Island in New York, and Max Bounty, a Canadian company.

Facebook’s security team outlined the suits in a blog post, accusing the defendants of offering “ enticing, but non-existent products and services.”

“According to our complaints, the defendants, among other things, represented that in order to qualify for certain fake or deceptive offers, people had to spam their friends, sign up for automatic mobile phone subscription services, or provide other information,” said Facebook.

Facebook says the defendants violated the U.S. Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, also known as CAN-SPAM.

Facebook has a history of going after spammers in court. In 2008, the [company] received a judgement of $873 million in its favor against Montreal spammer Adam Guerbuez. In 2009, it received a $711 million judgement against Samford Wallace, who had illegally accessed users’ accounts to spam them.

The lawsuits come on the heels of a scandal for Facebook, in which several third-party app developers, including Farmville developer Zynga were discovered to be leaking user information.