If you've ever logged on to Facebook and experienced being bombarded with spammy ads by a marketing company called Adscend Media, then here's a piece of good news: they're not allowed to do that anymore.
Last January, Facebook and Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna filed a case against Adscend Media for "developing and encouraging others to spread spam through misleading and deceptive tactics."
Now five months later, Adscend has chosen to settle and has been fined $100,000 in attorneys’ costs and fees. One hundred grand doesn't seem like much though, because it was alleged that the company made a little over $1.2 million a month.
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
-- Rob McKenna, Washington State Attorney General
Although Adscend didn't admit liability, the settlement requires the company and its affiliates to stop sending messages with false or misleading headers to users of the social network. Further violation of the 10-page consent decree will result in more fines and additional restitutions, like restitution, injunctive relief, and various penalties.
Under this agreement, Adscend-initiated messages should no longer appear to come from Facebook friends, when they actually originate from an affiliate trying to generate a sales commission from a commercial advertiser.
-- Paula Selis, Assistant Attorney General
All users inconvenienced by Adscend's sneaky marketing tactics can now breath a collective sigh of relief.
Article by Hazel Chua
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