A U.S. District Court judge in San Jose has awarded Facebook $711 million in damages in an anti-spam case the social-networking giant filed against online marketer Sanford Wallace, who is known as the "Spam King."
The Palo Alto company claimed Wallace and two associates registered as Facebook members in November 2008 to start a spam and phishing scheme.
According to court documents, the firm said Wallace sent numerous Facebook members a link to a Web site that tricked them into revealing their login information. Some messages sent the Facebook user to other sites that paid Wallace for that traffic.
The spammers would repeat the cycle by logging into the compromised accounts and sending more messages, the suit said, San Francisco Chronicle reports.
According to Computerworld, at least one analyst said the San Jose, Calif., court's decision could acually make it harder for sites like Facebook and Twitter to deal with spammers.
"I fear the major consequence from the fine will, unfortunately, be to spur social network spammers to become more sophisticated," said Dan Olds, principal analyst with Gabriel Consulting Group.
"You'll see them covering their tracks better, making sure they are in jurisdictions that make it hard for legal authorities to reach them, and making their mechanisms more insidious and hard to stop."
Last November, Facebook won $873 million in damages -- the largest award to date under the 2003 Can-Spam Act -- from spammer Adam Guerbuez and his company, Atlantis Blue Capital.
Asked to specify how much of that award Facebook has been able to collect, a company spokesperson responded, "We continue to work on collecting as much as possible from Guerbuez and Atlantis Blue (likely far less than the full amount) and have hired a firm to help with this," InformationWeek informs.