News Column

Facebook Wins $873 Million Judgement Against Spammer

Dec. 5, 2012

Bryan Chaffin

FaceBook has won a US$873 million judgement against a Canadian spammer who used a phishing techniques and other methods to gain control of FaceBook user accounts that then spammed other members. Max Kelly, FaceBook's Director of Security, made the announcement on the FaceBook blog, saying his company had successfully sued the spammer under the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act (CAN-SPAM).

Adam Guerbuez of Montreal and his company Atlantis Blue Capital are the particular spammers in question, though FaceBook doesn't expect to be able to actually collect much, if any of the judgement.

Mr. Kelly wrote, "Does Facebook expect to quickly collect $873 million and share the proceeds in some way with our users? Alas, no. It's unlikely that Geurbez and Atlantis Blue Capital could ever honor the judgment rendered against them (though we will certainly collect everything we can). But we are confident that this award represents a powerful deterrent to anyone and everyone who would seek to abuse Facebook and its users."

Whether it will serve as a deterrent for future spammers remains to be seen. For instance, Tim Beyers at Motley Fool reminded us that MySpace earned a judgement of $230 million against a spammer earlier in 2008, but spam can still be found on MySpace.


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