Facebook Wins $711 Million Suit Against Infamous Internet Spammer

By Sadie Bass

Oct 30, 2009 3:52pm

ABC's Whitney Lloyd reports from New York: A California judge awarded Facebook $711 million in damages against an infamous internet spammer who bombarded the social networking site with junk messages and phony wall posts. Sanford Wallace, a Las Vegas-based disc jockey widely known in internet circles for pioneering spam tactics in the 1990's, sent unsolicited mass emails to Facebook users, conning many into divulging their login information before redirecting them to external websites that paid him for each visit. A prolific spammer known online as the “Spam King,” Wallace famously headed a company, Cyber Promotions, that sent as many as 30 million junk emails a day in the 1990's using what were then innovative tactics like fake return addresses and browser hijacking. In 2006, the Federal Trade Commission fined Wallace $4 million for littering the web with annoying pop-up ads that infected computers with spyware. Two years later, Facebook’s competitor MySpace won $230 million in damages from Wallace after he was found guilty of spamming the site’s members with unsolicited messages. In a blog post, Facebook called the ruling, “another important victory in our fight against spam,” but acknowledges it is unlikely to recover a vast majority of the settlement as Wallace filed for bankruptcy in June. Jail time for Wallace looks likely, but what is certain is that he is now banned from Facebook — a fate worse than death for the Spam King and Facebook fiends everywhere. 

You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus