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article image'Spam King' Must Pay Facebook $711 Million

By Chris Dade     Oct 30, 2009 in Internet
Social networking site Facebook has been awarded $711 million in damages against a man previously sued by rivals MySpace and known as the "Spam King".
Sam O'Rourke, a member of the Facebook legal team, readily concedes that the networking site will see little of the damages it has been awarded against Sanford Wallace, a man CNN says is bankrupt, but he emphasized that the decision of Judge Jeremy Fogel in the U.S. District Court in San Jose, California was "another important victory in our fight against spam".
Furthermore Wallace could eventually find himself in jail after Judge Fogel referred his case to the U.S. attorney's office requesting that a prosecution be brought for criminal contempt.
Wallace, supposedly a resident of Las Vegas, and his associates are also banned from using Facebook.
As Newsfactor reports the case brought by Facebook against Wallace, or the "Spam King" as he has apparently become known, involved two other men, Adam Arzoomanian and Scott Shaw.
Between them the three men are said to have sent unwanted messages to Facebook users and made postings to the users' walls, thereby violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, the California Anti-Phishing Act, and the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act (CAN-SPAM).
Brad Shimmin, an analyst with Current Analysis, a company which describes itself as a provider of "competitive response solutions", has suggested that phishing and spamming must be profitable activities if Wallace is still prepared to partake in them, even after they cost him a considerable amount of money as the result of a previous court case.
CNN confirms that a judgment against Wallace in the sum of $230 million was obtained by MySpace in May 2008, after the site's users had received hundreds of thousands of ad messages for pornography and gambling sites following a phishing scam for which Wallace and another man, Walter Rines, were responsible.
In 2006 Wallace was fined $4 million by the Federal Trade Commission in respect of the excessive pop-up ads he was generating.
Summarizing the predicament facing Facebook and its rivals, Brad Shimmin said:We can all attest to the fact that if you use a social network where the noise ratio reaches a certain tipping point, you are gone and you don't come back. That is a concern for sites like this. Facebook is the caretaker of that space and it's their responsibility to keep people safe who have entrusted their identities and online personas to them
Facebook does now enables its users to report spam via links provided on its site.
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