Victory For Washington State AG Over Facebook Scammers

Facebook users might well celebrate the outcome of a lawsuit brought by Washington State officials against a US-based advertising firm.

Adscend Media have promised to stop littering news feeds with fraudulent messages that often appear to have been posted by a Facebook user’s friends. The company also agreed to pay $100,000 in attorneys’ fees to put an end to the dispute.

The practice of ‘Likejacking‘ is surely one that you have either seen or succumbed to. Links supposedly posted by Facebook friends generally contain an enticing link such as a funny video or incredible offer. In this case a user would be required to click buttons disguised as age verification checks in order to view the content, when in actual fact the buttons would cause the messages to be posted on a user’s news feed, and then redirect them to the websites of Adscend Media’s customers in order to boost traffic.

The Washington state attorney general brought the charge against Adscend Media in January, claiming that these misleading messages violated the federal law known as CAN-SPAM (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing).

In addition to stopping ‘Likejacking’ and coughing up $100,000 in attorneys’ fees, Adscend Media agreed to regularly monitor its affiliate partners to make sure they are in compliance with the ruling.

So will we start to see less of this practice that fills up everyone’s news feed with ‘offers’ for bogus Tesco vouchers, HCG diet drops and the like? Adscend Media can’t be the only company who have been employing such marketing tactics, but hopefully this will act as a deterrent to others.