On Facebook, the spam you get from friends is bad enough, but tolerable. The really bad stuff is actual spam, which more and more people are being subject to. On Friday, judge Jeremy Fogel in San Jose, California, awarded Facebook $873 million in damages against Adam Guerbuez and Atlantis Blue Capital under the CAN-SPAM act. (Ruling embedded below). It is the largest award under the act ever granted, topping the $234 million award MySpace won against spammers last May.
The chances of Facebook ever collecting that amount from the defendants are minimal (spam pays, but not that much). Still, sit sends the right message to other Facebook spammers out there.
While it does not appear that the defendants will be facing any jail time, the judge has come up with a punishment that in this day and age might be worse: a permanent injunction against “using or accessing, whether directly or indirectly, Facebook’s data, information, computers, computer systems, computer networks, or Facebook user’s accounts, information or profiles for any reason whatsoever.”
I guess that includes any partner site that uses Facebook Connect or any of Facebook’s APIs. In other words, the judge just barred the defendants from using a large and growing portion of the Web.