Social networking giantFacebook has hit back at some scammers that sought to mislead its 500m plus users.
Apparently as sick of spamming and phishing as the rest of us, the firm has lined up some lawyers and aimed them in the direction of three individuals that sought to exploit its users.
As well as using tools to detect and block spam attacks and other behaviour the firm also employs less technical and more legislative measures, it revealed in a blog post, and as it has done in the past, will use the weight of the law to after the worst offenders.
"This week, in a US federal court in San Jose, California, we filed three lawsuits alleging violations of our terms and applicable law by defendants attempting to trick people on Facebook into signing up for mobile subscriptions and sending spam to their friends," the firm reported.
"In three separate complaints, we allege that Steven Richter, Jason Swan, and Max Bounty, Inc. used Facebook to offer enticing, but non-existent products and services."
The defendants, it revealed, were attempting to turn Facebook users into spammers themselves by offering non-existent rewards for recommending vapour products, such as a Dislike button application that would ape the site's established Like option.
Facebook has a pretty good record in these circumstances and indeed is in the Guinness book of records for the two largest judgments in the history of the CAN-SPAM Act.
"We will press on with enforcement and collection efforts against spammers and fraudsters, and we're committed to applying continuous legal pressure to send a strong message to spammers that they're not welcome on Facebook," it said.
But, there lies the rub. Being marketed to is a part of the daily Facebook experience, and will continue to be so unless something very, very radical happens to its business model.
Not only that, but users must find it frustratingly difficult to work out what is a legitimate, or - at best - trusted application on Facebook, and not just because there are so many of them.
Just recently it was discovered that some were sharing personal information that they should not have been, and those were some of the most popular on the site. Perhaps it is here where the site needs to do more work.
With users being expected to opt out of new features using a settings mechanism that has been regularly criticised, and increasingly being requested to 'Like' or approve things on the site, the social networking landscape has become difficult to navigate.
Ask a facebook user whether, upon signing up, they would have expected to see their site turn from a sharing, social application, to a marketing, data collecting one, and the answer would most likely be a curt 'No'.
If Facebook has become a playground for misleading marketers, perhaps it only has itself to blame. It may have been so focused on driving its own business, that it missed the actions of other firms in its smog.
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