Washington state AG and Facebook target social media spammers

Alleged “Likejackers” agree to root out Facebook spam

Adscend Media LLC also pays $100,000 in attorneys’ fees to state

SEATTLE – The owners of a California-based online marketing company have agreed to stop spamming Facebook users. The details were revealed today in a settlement – a consent decree – between Adscend Media LLC and the Washington State Attorney General’s Office.

“Today’s settlement puts a stop to Adscend’s ‘likejacking’ and other misleading tactics that led Facebook users to fork over personal information or buy subscription services from sites that appeared to be recommended by friends,” said Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna.

In January, McKenna’s office and Facebook sued Jeremy Bash and Fehzan Ali, the owners of Adscend Media LLC for initiating posts to Facebook pages that appeared to offer visitors an opportunity to view scandalous or provocative content. However, before being able to view the content, a series of required steps lured Facebook users into eventually visiting commercial websites. Other tactics included “likejacking,” in which Facebook users were tricked into clicking the “like” button, inadvertently spreading the sales pitches to friends.

Adscend, hired to promote products, in turn does business with “affiliates” who create attention-getting marketing messages. Too often, according to the Attorney General’s Office, those messages amounted to social media spam.

http://www.atg.wa.gov/pressrelease.aspx?&id=29716

http://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2012/05/08/facebook-clickjacking/

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