Facebook has launched a lawsuit against Adscend Media, alleging that they developed and encouraged others to spread spam using a variety of tactics, but most notably clickjacking. Facebook is not going at this alone. The State of Washington has filed suit, alleging violations of the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act (CAN-SPAM), 15 U.S.C. Â§Â§7701-7713 and other laws, against Delaware-based Adscend and co-owners Jeremy Bash and Fehzan Ali. Both Facebook and The State of Washington allege the advertising company has profited by collecting money from clients for every Facebook user misdirected to an advertisement or subscription offer.
In the case of clickjacking, a Facebook user is lured into clicking on a link, having been promised the chance to see alluring or scandalous content with attention grabbing names such as, â€śOMG! See what happened to his Ex-Girlfriendâ€ť. Â This only brings you to the second page in which you must complete an online survey or provide personal information first in order to see the content. And if you enter your mobile phone number, you should keep a close eye on your cellphone bill to prevent bogus charges. Invisible “Like” buttons are throughout the page and a user cannot avoid clicking on it and thus spreading the spam to their friends.
Some question Facebookâ€™s motivation in this suit. With its initial public offering (IPO) happening this week, this is likely to be the largest tech IPO in history, yielding around $10 billion for the social network. Some have claimed the lawsuit is just a ploy to secure investors and the companyâ€™s future yield. Could this be true? Does Facebook care more about its purse than its customers? What company doesnâ€™t? However, these haters have strong evidence to refute. It seems Facebook has been bringing winning lawsuits against illegal spammers for years. In 2011 Facebook sued California self-proclaimed â€śspam kingâ€ť Sanford Wallace and a U.S. court ordered him to pay a $711 million judgment. Facebook also secured a $360.5 million judgment against spammer Philip Porembski, and an $873 million judgment in 2008 against Adam Guerbuez and Atlantis Blue Capital.
Regardless of the reason, this is surely a good thing for all. Not only will this increase the userâ€™s ability to navigate and explore without having to worry about getting screwed, it also creates precedent in the legal field for fighting internet scammers in all areas of internet law. This kind of pressure will deter large scale spammers and scammers and allow more legislation to be tailored against individual activity, rather than enacting large acts, like SOPA for instance, to combat the problems. Only time will tell.