A court has awarded Facebook $711 million in damages against web marketer Sanford Wallace, who accessed users' accounts to post spam messages and status updates.
Sam O’Rourke, Facebook’s lead council for litigation and intellectual property, wrote in his blog: “While we don't expect to receive the vast majority of the award, we hope that this will act as a continued deterrent against these criminals.”
The judge at San Jose federal court in California has also referred Wallace – nicknamed Spamford by the media – to the US Attorney’s Office, requesting that he be prosecuted for criminal contempt. This means that he potentially faces a custodial sentence.
“This is another important victory in our fight against spam. We will continue to pursue damages against other spammers,” O’Rourke added.
In November 2008, Facebook won an $873 million judgement against Adam Guerbuez and Atlantis Blue Capital for spamming Facebook users with pornographic messages – the largest sum ever awarded for an action brought under the US’s Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act.
According to the Guardian, Sanford Wallace was last year fined $230 million for attacking the accounts of MySpace users to send porn spam.