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No Friend Of Ours: Facebook Awarded $711M In Spammer Suit

In Facebook's comments section, some users laud the company for pursuing legal action against spammers, while others don't think it deserved the award.

Facebook had sought damages against alleged spammer Sanford Wallace, who Facebook claimed had accessed people's Facebook accounts without permission and sent phony mail and posts, Facebook said in a blog post on its Web site.

"While we don't expect to receive the vast majority of the award, we hope that this will act as a continued deterrent against these criminals," wrote Sam O'Rourke, a member of Facebook's legal team. The judge also referred Wallace to the U.S. Attorney's Office with a request that he be prosecuted for criminal contempt, according to O'Rourke.

"[That] means that in addition to the judgment, he now faces possible jail time. This is another important victory in our fight against spam. We will continue to pursue damages against other spammers," O'Rourke wrote.

In a March blog post, O'Rourke noted that Facebook had won temporary restraining orders against three alleged spammers, including Wallace.

"We hate spam just as much as you do and we're always working to stop it," O'Rourke noted.

In November 2008, Facebook won an $873 million award against Adam Guerbeuz and Atlantis Blue Capital for spamming, according to Facebook.

"This was the largest judgment ever for an action brought under CAN-SPAM. We continue to work on collecting as much as possible from Guerbuez and Atlantis Blue (likely far less than the full amount) and have hired a firm to help with this. We're hopeful that this kind of persistent pressure will act as a deterrent against those attempting to trick and annoy people on Facebook," O'Rourke wrote.

In Facebook's comments section, some users lauded the company for pursuing legal action against spammers, while others didn't think it deserved the award.

"I'd be surprised if the spammers [made] more than $1,000 and Facebook is proudly sending debt collection agencies after them, effectively ruining their lives and that of their families. [Nice] one Facebook team," Richard Gledhill.

Another user, Tatiana A Klimenko Kostanian, wrote, "I'm happy these spammers were caught. We need to make sure we have a sure way of catching the rest of spammers on FB."

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